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Genes Dev. 2006 Jun 15;20(12):1597-608. Epub 2006 May 31.

The Wilms' tumor 1 (WT1) gene (+KTS isoform) functions with a CTE to enhance translation from an unspliced RNA with a retained intron.

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Myles H. Thaler Center for AIDS and Human Retrovirus Research and Department of Microbiology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia 22908, USA.


The Wilms' tumor 1 (WT1) gene plays an important role in mammalian urogenital development, and dysregulation of this gene is observed in many human cancers. Alternative splicing of WT1 RNA leads to the expression of two major protein isoforms, WT1(+KTS) and WT1(-KTS). Whereas WT1(-KTS) acts as a transcriptional regulator, no clear function has been ascribed to WT1(+KTS), despite the fact that this protein is crucial for normal development. Here we show that WT1(+KTS) functions to enhance expression from RNA possessing a retained intron and containing either a cellular or viral constitutive transport element (CTE). WT1(+KTS) expression increases the levels of unspliced RNA containing a CTE and specifically promotes the association of this RNA with polyribosomes. These studies provide further support for links between different steps in RNA metabolism and for the existence of post-transcriptional operons.

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