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Mech Dev. 1998 Dec;79(1-2):169-84.

YAC transgenic analysis reveals Wilms' tumour 1 gene activity in the proliferating coelomic epithelium, developing diaphragm and limb.

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MRC Human Genetics Unit, Western General Hospital, Edinburg, UK.


Wilms' Tumour 1 gene (WT1) is required for the correct development of the urogenital system. To examine its regulation and expression, we created several transgenic mouse lines containing a beta-galactosidase reporter driven by the human WT1 promoter. A 5 kb promoter weakly recapitulated a subset of the endogenous Wt1 expression pattern. In contrast, 470 and 280 kb YAC transgenes reproduced the correct pattern with high activity and highlighted new expression sites. Wt1 is expressed in the septum transversum revealing how its mutation causes diaphragmatic defects. Wt1 expression in the limb demarcates a zone between chondrogenic and apoptotic domains. Finally, Wt1 is expressed in mesenchymal cells derived from the coelomic epithelium. Based upon these and further data we discuss a Wt1 role in epithelial<-->mesenchymal transitions.

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