Wilms' tumor suppressor gene (WT1) encodes a transcription factor required for normal development of the genitourinary system. Germline WT1 mutations have been described in a wide spectrum of pathological conditions, including kidney diseases, genital abnormalities and Wilms' tumor. Here we report a 4-year-old male patient who presented with bilateral cryptorchidism, Wilms' tumor, nephroblastomatosis and renal failure without nephrotic proteinuria. Sequence analysis of the WT1 gene demonstrated a constitutional heterozygous nonsense mutation in exon 7, which leads to a truncation of the WT1 protein at the zinc-finger 1. In the DNA of the tumor, we observed the same mutation in homo/hemizygosity. Given the requirement of WT1 for normal development, the WT1 mutation is likely to be responsible for the nephroblastomatosis and, inconsequence, for the severe renal failure observed in our patient. This finding extends the spectrum of kidney diseases related to WT1 mutations and points to the need to screen for this gene in children with genitourinary abnormalities and Wilms' tumor because of the associated risk of nephroblastomatosis and renal failure in those carrying WT1 mutations. © 2011 Dustri-Verlag Dr. K. Feistle ISSN 0301-0430.
- End-stage renal disease (ESRD)
- Persistent nephrogenic rests
- Wilms' tumor suppressor gene (WT1)