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Human platelet-derived growth factor A chain is transcriptionally repressed by the Wilms tumor suppressor WT1.

Gashler A.L., Bonthron D.T., Madden S.L., Rauscher F.J., Collins T., Sukhatme V.P.

Wilms tumor, an embryonic kidney malignancy, accounts for approximately 6% of all pediatric neoplasms. A gene implicated in the genesis of this tumor, the Wilms tumor suppressor gene (WT1), encodes a zinc-finger DNA-binding protein (WT1) that functions as a transcriptional repressor. In certain Wilms tumors, the platelet-derived growth factor A chain (PDGF-A) is overexpressed; it has therefore been suggested that it may play an autocrine role in development of these neoplasms. Since the PDGF-A promoter contains putative binding sites for WT1, we explored the role of WT1 in regulating A-chain expression. The major PDGF-A promoter activity was localized in transient transfection assays to a region spanning from -643 to + 8 relative to the transcription start site. WT1 bound to several sites in this region of the promoter, as demonstrated by gel-shift analysis and DNase I footprinting, and functioned as a powerful repressor of PDGF-A transcription in vivo. Maximal repression (> 50-fold) of the PDGF-A promoter was dependent on the presence of multiple WT1 binding sites in transient transfection assays. Our observations suggest a mechanism for normal downregulation of a growth factor gene and of an autocrine growth process of import in kidney development and other biological systems.

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 89:10984-10988(1992) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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