Familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) is a recessively inherited disorder characterized by dramatic episodes of fever and serosal inflammation. This report describes the cloning of the gene likely to cause FMF from a 115-kb candidate interval on chromosome 16p. Three different missense mutations were identified in affected individuals, but not in normals. Haplotype and mutational analyses disclosed ancestral relationships among carrier chromosomes in populations that have been separated for centuries. The novel gene encodes a 3.7-kb transcript that is almost exclusively expressed in granulocytes. The predicted protein, pyrin, is a member of a family of nuclear factors homologous to the Ro52 autoantigen. The cloning of the FMF gene promises to shed light on the regulation of acute inflammatory responses.