Journal Article

Wilms tumor cells with <i>WT1</i> mutations have characteristic features of mesenchymal stem cells and express molecular markers of paraxial mesoderm

Brigitte Royer-Pokora, Maike Busch, Manfred Beier, Constanze Duhme, Carmen de Torres, Jaume Mora, Artur Brandt and Hans-Dieter Royer

in Human Molecular Genetics

Volume 19, issue 9, pages 1651-1668
Published in print May 2010 | ISSN: 0964-6906
Published online January 2010 | e-ISSN: 1460-2083 | DOI:
Wilms tumor cells with WT1 mutations have characteristic features of mesenchymal stem cells and express molecular markers of paraxial mesoderm

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Wilms tumors (WTs) are genetically heterogeneous kidney tumors whose cells of origin are unknown. Tumors with WT1 mutations and concomitant loss of the wild-type allele represent a distinct subgroup, frequently associated with mutations in CTNNB1. Here, we describe the establishment and characterization of long-term cell cultures derived from five individual WTs with WT1 mutations. Three of these tumor cell lines also had CTNNB1 mutations and an activated canonical Wnt signaling pathway as measured by β-catenin/T cell-specific transcription factor (TCF) transcriptional activity. Four of the five Wilms cell lines had a stable normal karyotype for at least 25 passages, and four lines showed loss of heterozygosity of chromosome 11p due to mitotic recombination in 11p11. Gene expression profiling revealed that the WT cell lines are highly similar to human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and FACS analysis demonstrated the expression of MSC-specific surface proteins CD105, CD90 and CD73. The stem cell like nature of the WT cells is further supported by their adipogenic, chondrogenic, osteogenic and myogenic differentiation potentials. By generating multipotent mesenchymal precursors from paraxial mesoderm (PAM) in tissue culture using embryonal stem cells, gene expression profiles of PAM and MSCs were described. Using these published gene sets, we found coexpression of a large number of genes in WT cell lines, PAM and MSCs. Lineage plasticity is indicated by the simultaneous expression of genes from the mesendodermal and neuroectodermal lineages. We conclude that WTs with WT1 mutations have specific traits of PAM, which is the source of kidney stromal cells.

Journal Article.  12252 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Genetics and Genomics

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