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Hum Mutat. 2002 Apr;19(4):462.

A review of the phenotypic variation due to the Denys-Drash syndrome-associated germline WT1 mutation R362X.

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Cancer Genetics Laboratory, Department of Biochemistry, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.


The gene WT1 is required for the normal development and function of the urogenital tract. Constitutional mutations are associated with familial Wilms tumor and syndromes such as Denys-Drash syndrome (DDS) characterized by nephropathy, genital anomalies and often a predisposition to Wilms tumor. We report a case of constitutional WT1 mutation in an XX female with multifocal Wilms tumor but no genital anomalies or renal dysfunction and, for the first time, review patients previously reported with this germline mutation. The mutation (1084C>T) changes the amino acid arginine at position 362 to the translation stop codon TGA (R362X) resulting in a predicted truncated protein lacking three of the four zinc finger domains necessary for correct functioning of the gene. This constitutional mutation has been reported to cause a variety of phenotypes in eleven different patients, including the classical Denys-Drash phenotype of diffuse mesangial sclerosis which leads to early renal failure, genital anomalies in XY individuals and Wilms tumors. The absence of mesangial sclerosis and renal failure in our patient excludes DDS. Our case differs from those previously described as the normal kidney tissue shows some small subcapsular glomeruli indicating that the WT1 mutation has impaired nephron development. This patient extends the range and variation of phenotypes that may arise from a specific germline mutation in WT1.

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