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Effects on kidney disease, fertility and development in mice inheriting a protein-truncating Denys-Drash syndrome allele (Wt1 tmT396)

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Mark Walker, Dr Colin Miles


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Denys-Drash syndrome (DDS) is caused by heterozygous mutations of the Wilms' tumour suppressor gene, WT1, characterised by early-onset diffuse mesangial sclerosis often associated with male pseudohermaphroditism and/or Wilms' tumourigenesis. Previously, we reported that the Wt1 tmT396 allele induces DDS kidney disease in mice. In the present study heterozygotes (Wt1 tmT396/+) were generated on inbred (129/Ola), crossbred (B6/129) and MF1 second backcross (MF1-N2) backgrounds. Whereas male heterozygotes on each background were fertile, inbred heterozygous females were infertile. Kidney disease (proteinuria and sclerosis) was not congenital and developed significantly earlier in inbred mice, although with variable onset. Disease onset in MF1-N2 stocks occurred later in Wt1 tmT396/+ mice than reported previously for Wt1 R394W/+ mice, and while no kidney disease has been reported in B6/129 Wt1 +/- mice, B6/129 Wt1 tmT396/+ mice were affected. Offspring of both male and female B6/129 and MF1-N2 Wt1 tmT396/+ mice developed kidney disease, but its incidence was significantly higher in offspring of female heterozygotes. Wt1 tmT396/tmT396 embryos exhibited identical developmental abnormalities to those reported for Wt1 -/- embryos. The results indicate that the Wt1 tmT396 allele does not predispose to Wilms' tumourigenesis or male pseudohermaphroditism, its effect on kidney disease and female fertility depends on genetic background, stochastic factors may affect disease onset, and disease transmission is subject to a partial parent-of-origin effect. Since the Wt1 tmT396 allele has no detectable intrinsic functional activity in vivo, and kidney disease progression is affected by the type of Wt1 mutation, the data support the view that DDS nephropathy results from a dominant-negative action rather than WT1 haploinsufficiency or gain-of-function. © 2007 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Patek CE, Brownstein DG, Fleming S, Wroe C, Rose L, Webb A, Berry RL, Devenney PS, Walker M, Maddocks ODK, Lawrence NJ, Harrison DJ, Wood KM, Miles CG, Hooper ML

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Transgenic Research

Year: 2008

Volume: 17

Issue: 3

Pages: 459-475

Print publication date: 01/06/2008

ISSN (print): 0962-8819

ISSN (electronic): 1573-9368

Publisher: Springer Netherlands


DOI: 10.1007/s11248-007-9157-0

PubMed id: 18040647


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Funder referenceFunder name
BB/E012841/1Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
G9901010Medical Research Council