Concept

Penetrance

Summary
Penetrance in genetics is the proportion of individuals carrying a particular variant (or allele) of a gene (the genotype) that also expresses an associated trait (the phenotype). In medical genetics, the penetrance of a disease-causing mutation is the proportion of individuals with the mutation that exhibit clinical symptoms among all individuals with such mutation. For example, if a mutation in the gene responsible for a particular autosomal dominant disorder has 95% penetrance, then 95% of those with the mutation will develop the disease, while 5% will not. A condition, most commonly inherited in an autosomal dominant manner, is said to show complete penetrance if clinical symptoms are present in all individuals who have the disease-causing mutation. A condition which shows complete penetrance is neurofibromatosis type 1 – every person who has a mutation in the gene will show symptoms of the condition. The penetrance is 100%. Common examples used to show degrees of penetrance are
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