The gene responsible for barring the formation of fingerprints during fetal growth has been identified.

According to a recent study published online in the August 4, 2011 issue of the American Journal of Human Genetics, a gene called SMARCAD1 is responsible for the absence of fingerprints in some people.

The rare condition, scientifically called autosomal-dominant adermatoglyphia, is a monogenic disorder caused due to mutation of one gene, the study said.

People with the disorder have often reported about facing immigration check problems at airports and that’s why the condition is dubbed “immigration delay disease.”

The researchers reportedly investigated a large family in which most of the members had missing fingerprints.

The existence of SMARCAD1 was found to be exclusively expressed in the skin, authors of the study said.

Further analysis revealed that mutation of the gene SMARCAD1 segregated with the disease traits and affected the patterns on the surface of fingertips and palms throughout the entire family.

“We found that this mutation causes aberrant splicing, resulting in decreased stability of the short RNA isoform. The present findings implicate a skin-specific isoform of SMARCAD1 in the regulation of dermatoglyph development,” researchers concluded.