Variant in the synaptonemal complex protein SYCE2 associates with pregnancy loss through effect on recombination

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Valgerdur Steinthorsdottir
  • Bjarni V. Halldorsson
  • Hakon Jonsson
  • Gunnar Palsson
  • Asmundur Oddsson
  • David Westergaard
  • Gudny A. Arnadottir
  • Lilja Stefansdottir
  • M. Sean Esplin
  • Mette Nyegaard
  • Christian Erikstrup
  • Gudmar Thorleifsson
  • Lincoln D. Nadauld
  • Asgeir Haraldsson
  • Thora Steingrimsdottir
  • Laufey Tryggvadottir
  • Ingileif Jonsdottir
  • Daniel F. Gudbjartsson
  • Patrick Sulem
  • Hilma Holm
  • Kari Stefansson

Two-thirds of all human conceptions are lost, in most cases before clinical detection. The lack of detailed understanding of the causes of pregnancy losses constrains focused counseling for future pregnancies. We have previously shown that a missense variant in synaptonemal complex central element protein 2 (SYCE2), in a key residue for the assembly of the synaptonemal complex backbone, associates with recombination traits. Here we show that it also increases risk of pregnancy loss in a genome-wide association analysis on 114,761 women with reported pregnancy loss. We further show that the variant associates with more random placement of crossovers and lower recombination rate in longer chromosomes but higher in the shorter ones. These results support the hypothesis that some pregnancy losses are due to failures in recombination. They further demonstrate that variants with a substantial effect on the quality of recombination can be maintained in the population.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNature Structural and Molecular Biology
Number of pages17
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2024

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© 2024, The Author(s).

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