CTNNB1 mutations and overexpression of Wnt/beta-catenin target genes in WT1-mutant Wilms' tumors

Chi-Ming Li, Connie E Kim, Adam A Margolin, Meirong Guo, Jimmy Zhu, Jacqueline M Mason, Terrence W Hensle, Vundavalli V V S Murty, Paul E Grundy, Eric R Fearon, Vivette D'Agati, Jonathan D Licht, Benjamin Tycko
American Journal of Pathology 2004, 165 (6): 1943-53
Gain-of-function mutations in exon 3 of beta-catenin (CTNNB1) are specific for Wilms' tumors that have lost WT1, but 50% of WT1-mutant cases lack such "hot spot" mutations. To ask whether stabilization of beta-catenin might be essential after WT1 loss, and to identify downstream target genes, we compared expression profiles in WT1-mutant versus WT1 wild-type Wilms' tumors. Supervised and nonsupervised hierarchical clustering of the expression data separated these two classes of Wilms' tumor. The WT1-mutant tumors overexpressed genes encoding myogenic and other transcription factors (MOX2, LBX1, SIM2), signaling molecules (TGFB2, FST, BMP2A), extracellular Wnt inhibitors (WIF1, SFRP4), and known beta-catenin/TCF targets (FST, CSPG2, CMYC). Beta-Catenin/TCF target genes were overexpressed in the WT1-mutant tumors even in the absence of CTNNB1 exon 3 mutations, and complete sequencing revealed gain-of-function mutations elsewhere in the CTNNB1 gene in some of these tumors, increasing the overall mutation frequency to 75%. Lastly, we identified and validated a novel direct beta-catenin target gene, GAD1, among the WT1-mutant signature genes. These data highlight two molecular classes of Wilms' tumor, and indicate strong selection for stabilization of beta-catenin in the WT1-mutant class. Beta-Catenin stabilization can initiate tumorigenesis in other systems, and this mechanism is likely critical in tumor formation after loss of WT1.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"