Wilms tumor is a pediatric neoplasm that arises from the metanephric blastema. The expression of the gene encoding insulin-like growth factor II (IGF-II) is often elevated in these tumors. Since many of the actions of IGF-II are mediated through activation of the IGF-I receptor (IGF-IR), we have measured the levels of IGF-IR mRNA in normal kidney and in Wilms tumor samples using solution hybridization/RNase protection assays. IGF-IR mRNA levels in the tumors were 5.8-fold higher than in adjacent normal kidney tissue. Among the tumors themselves, the levels of IGF-IR mRNA in those containing heterologous stromal elements were 2-fold higher (P < 0.01) than in tumors without these elements. IGF-IR gene (designated IGF1R) expression in the tumors was inversely correlated with the expression of the Wilms tumor suppressor gene WT1, whose inactivation appears to be a key step in the etiology of Wilms tumor. Cotransfection of Chinese hamster ovary cells with rat and human IGF-IR gene promoter constructs driving luciferase reporter genes and with WT1 expression vectors showed that the active WT1 gene product represses IGF-IR promoter activity in a dose-dependent manner. These results suggest that underexpression, deletion, or mutation of WT1 may result in increased expression of the IGF-IR, whose activation by IGF-II may be an important aspect of the biology of Wilms tumor.
|Number of pages
|Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
|Published - Jun 15 1993
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