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WT1-KO mice

Thursday 18 February 2010

The Wilms’ tumour suppressor protein, WT1, is a zinc finger protein essential for the development of several organs, including the kidney and gonads.

In each of these tissues WT1 is required at multiple stages of development and its persistent expression in podocytes and Sertoli cells suggests WT1 may also have a role in the maintenance of kidney and testis function throughout adult life.

Naturally occurring isoforms of WT1 are generated by alternative mRNA splicing. An altered ratio of the splice isoforms WT1-KTS and WT1 + KTS appears to be sufficient to account for the developmental abnormalities (pseudohermaphroditism and nephropathy) characteristic of Frasier syndrome.

Mice with a transgene encoding WT1-KTS

Mice with a transgene encoding WT1-KTS do not differ from their wild-type littermates unless they are also heterozygous for a null mutation at the endogenous Wt1 locus. (16967512)

Animals with both genetic modifications develop proteinuria, together with multiple glomerular cysts, and male infertility. These pathologic changes may be explained as a consequence of altering the WT1 isoform ratio in tissues that express WT1 during adulthood. WT1 misexpression could also contribute to human glomerulocystic kidney disease. (16967512)


- Nephropathy and defective spermatogenesis in mice transgenic for a single isoform of the Wilms’ tumour suppressor protein, WT1-KTS, together with one disrupted Wt1 allele. Lahiri D, Dutton JR, Duarte A, Moorwood K, Graham CF, Ward A. Mol Reprod Dev. 2007 Mar;74(3):300-11. PMID: 16967512