Coordinate expression of Wilms' tumor genes correlates with Wilms' tumor phenotypes.

H. Yeger, C. Cullinane, A. Flenniken, S. Chilton-MacNeil, C. Campbell, A. Huang, L. Bonetta, M. J. Coppes, P. Thorner, B. R. Williams

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The cloning and molecular characterization of two putative tumor genes, WT1 and WIT1, from the chromosome 11p13 region has provided a means of evaluating their role in the generation of Wilms' tumor heterogeneity. A series of 29 tumors were analyzed for WT1 and WIT1 expression by Northern blot or RNase protection analyses, and results were compared with tumor histopathology. Tumors were scored for the percentage of mesenchymal and epithelial derived tissue components. Homotypic tumors comprised blastema, tubular epithelium, and a fibroblast-like mesenchyme. In addition to these tissue components, the group of tumors designated as heterotypic also contained ectopic cell phenotypes such as muscle and squamous epithelium. The analyses suggest that heterotypic differentiation patterns occur when WT1 and WIT1 expression is low relative to normal fetal kidney. In situ hybridization using antisense RNA probes showed that WT1 and WIT1 were concordantly expressed in normal fetal kidney and in the blastema of tumors. The ratio of WT1:WIT1 expression remained relatively constant in homotypic tumors but deviated significantly in heterotypic tumors. These results suggest that expression patterns of the WT1 and WIT1 genes can be closely correlated to Wilms' tumor histopathology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)855-864
Number of pages10
JournalCell Growth and Differentiation
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1992
Externally publishedYes

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