A human Wilms tumor cell line (RM1) was developed to test the tumor suppressor activity of WT1, a zinc finger transcription factor that is expressed in the developing human kidney and is mutationally inactivated in a subset of Wilms tumors. Transfection of each of four wild-type WT1 isoforms suppressed the growth of RM1 cells. The endogenous WT1 transcript in these cells was devoid of exon 2 sequences, a splicing alteration that was also detected in varying amounts in all Wilms tumors tested but not in normal kidney. Production of this abnormal transcript, which encodes a functionally altered protein, may represent a distinct mechanism for inactivating WT1 in Wilms tumors.

Stay Connected to Science