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Wilms' tumor 1 and Dax-1 modulate the orphan nuclear receptor SF-1 in sex-specific gene expression.

Nachtigal M.W., Hirokawa Y., Enyeart-VanHouten D.L., Flanagan J.N., Hammer G.D., Ingraham H.A.

Products of steroidogenic factor 1 (SF-1) and Wilms' tumor 1 (WT1) genes are essential for mammalian gonadogenesis prior to sexual differentiation. In males, SF-1 participates in sexual development by regulating expression of the polypeptide hormone Müllerian inhibiting substance (MIS). Here, we show that WT1 -KTS isoforms associate and synergize with SF-1 to promote MIS expression. In contrast, WT1 missense mutations, associated with male pseudohermaphroditism in Denys-Drash syndrome, fail to synergize with SF-1. Additionally, the X-linked, candidate dosage-sensitive sex-reversal gene, Dax-1, antagonizes synergy between SF-1 and WT1, most likely through a direct interaction with SF-1. We propose that WT1 and Dax-1 functionally oppose each other in testis development by modulating SF-1-mediated transactivation.

Cell 93:445-454(1998) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]