Invited Reviews

The post-transcriptional roles of WT1, a multifunctional zinc-finger protein

BBA - Reviews on Cancer 1785: 55-62 (2008)
 - PMID/doi: 17980713
Authors: Morrison AA, Viney RL, Ladomery MR


WT1 was first described in 1990 as a tumour suppressor gene associated with Wilms tumour (nephroblastoma). It encodes a typical transcription factor with four C2-H2 zinc fingers in the C-terminus. However WT1 is surprisingly complex at multiple levels: it is involved in the development of several organ systems; and is both a tumour suppressor and oncogene. Here we review evidence that has accumulated over the past decade to suggest that as well as binding DNA, WT1 also binds mRNA targets via its zinc-fingers and interacts with several splice factors. WT1’s first reported post-transcriptional function is also reviewed. WT1’s complex roles in development and disease now need to be understood in terms of both DNA and mRNA targets.

Keywords: WT1,zinc-finger proteins,mRNA binding proteins,mRNP particles,splice factors,alternative splicing