Formin gene may explain a common cause of female infertility

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Recent study sheds light on leading cause of pregnancy loss in humans

Harvard Medical School researchers Philip Leder and Benjamin Leader have discovered that oocytes from female mice without the formin gene Fmn2 cannot correctly position the metaphase I DNA-spindle. This produces daughter cells with an abnormal number of chromosomes, the leading cause of female infertility, birth defects, and embryo loss. Genes of the formin family, including Fmn2, are expressed in almost all organisms. The discovery may help explain recurrent pregnancy loss, a condition that affects millions of women throughout the world.