The WT1 Wilms' tumor suppressor gene: A novel target for insulin-like growth factor-I action

Itay Bentov, Derek Leroith, Haim Werner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


IGF-I stimulates cell division in numerous cell types after activation of the IGF-I receptor, a transmembrane heterotetramer linked to the ras-raf-MAPK and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase signaling pathways. The WT1 Wilms' tumor suppressor is a zinc finger-containing transcription factor that is involved in a number of developmental processes, as well as in the etiology of certain neoplasias. In the present study, we demonstrated that IGF-I reduced WT1 expression in osteosarcoma-derived Saos-2 cells in a time- and dose-dependent manner. This effect was mediated through the MAPK signaling pathway, as shown by the ability of the specific inhibitor UO126 to abrogate IGF-I action. Furthermore, the effect of IGF-I involved repression of transcription from the WT1 gene promoter, as demonstrated using transient transfection assays. Taken together, our results suggest that the WT1 gene is a novel downstream target for IGF-I action. Reduced levels of WT1 may facilitate IGF-I-stimulated cell cycle progression. Most importantly, inhibition of WT1 gene expression by IGF-I may have significant implications in terms of cancer initiation and/or progression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4276-4279
Number of pages4
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2003
Externally publishedYes


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