Medical Definition of Temperature sensitive mutation
A type of conditional mutation in organism, somatic cell or virus that makes it possible to study genes whose total inactivation would be lethal. Such ts mutations can also make possible studies of the effect of reversible switching by temperature changes) in expression of the mutated gene. The usual mechanism of temperature sensitivity is that the mutated gene codes for a protein with a temperature dependent conformational instability, so that it possesses normal activity at one temperature (the permissive temperature), but is inactive at a second (nonpermissive) temperature.
This entry appears with permission from the Dictionary of Cell and Molecular Biology
(11 Mar 2008)
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