Familial biparental hydatidiform mole (FBHM) is the only known pure maternal-effect recessive inherited disorder in humans. Affected women, although developmentally normal themselves, suffer repeated pregnancy loss because of the development of the conceptus into a complete hydatidiform mole in which extraembryonic trophoblastic tissue develops but the embryo itself suffers early demise. This developmental phenotype results from a genome-wide failure to correctly specify or maintain a maternal epigenotype at imprinted loci. Most cases of FBHM result from mutations of NLRP7, but genetic heterogeneity has been demonstrated. Here, we report biallelic mutations of C6orf221 in three families with FBHM. The previously described biological properties of their respective gene families suggest that NLRP7 and C6orf221 may interact as components of an oocyte complex that is directly or indirectly required for determination of epigenetic status on the oocyte genome.
Copyright © 2011 The American Society of Human Genetics. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.