Genetics and epigenetics of hydatidiform moles

Human embryos that develop in the presence of chromosomes solely of paternal origin give rise only to a disorganized mass of placental derivatives known as a complete hydatidiform mole. A new study reports that mutations in NALP7, a gene thought to be involved in inflammatory and apoptotic pathways, occur in human females whose biparental conceptuses can develop as apparent complete moles.

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Figure 1: A complete hydatidiform mole resulting from development in the presence of two sets of paternal chromosomes and no maternal chromosomes.

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Bestor, T., Bourc'his, D. Genetics and epigenetics of hydatidiform moles. Nat Genet 38, 274–276 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1038/ng0306-274

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