Induction of rat WT1 gene expression correlates with human chromosome 11p11.2-p12-mediated suppression of tumorigenicity in rat liver epithelial tumor cell lines.
- W B Coleman
- S L Ricketts
- K M Borchert
- S C Presnell
- G L Esch
- K D McCullough
- B E Weissman
- G J Smith
- J W Grisham
Affiliations: Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.
- Published online on: May 1, 1999 https://doi.org/10.3892/ijo.14.5.957
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We have previously identified and mapped a locus within human chromosome 11p11.2-p12 that suppresses the tumorigenic potential of some rat liver tumor cell lines. In the present study, possible molecular mechanisms of human 11p11.2-p12-mediated liver tumor suppression were investigated by examining gene expression patterns in suppressed and non-suppressed microcell hybrid (MCH) cell lines. The parental rat liver tumor cell lines (GN6TF and GP7TB) express moderate levels of p53 mRNA and protein, overexpress mRNAs for c-H-ras, c-myc, and TGFá, and do not express detectable levels of WT1 mRNA or protein. Suppression of tumorigenicity by human chromosome 11p11.2-p12 was not accompanied by significant alterations in the levels of expression of p53, c-myc, or TGFá. Expression of c-H-ras was decreased significantly in both suppressed and non-suppressed MCH cell lines, suggesting that down-regulation of c-H-ras is not directly responsible for tumor suppression. In contrast, the level of expression of WT1 correlated precisely with tumor suppression in this model system. All suppressed MCH cell lines expressed WT1 mRNA and protein at levels comparable to that of untransformed rat liver epithelial cells (WB-F344), whereas only trace WT1 mRNA and protein were detected in a non-suppressed MCH cell line. PCR analysis demonstrated that two suppressed MCH cell lines do not carry the human WT1 gene, indicating that WT1 expression in these lines originates from the rat locus. Furthermore, RT-PCR analysis showed that each of the four known splice variants of the WT1 mRNA are expressed in these suppressed MCH cell lines, recapitulating the expression pattern observed in the untransformed rat liver epithelial cells. Re-expression of tumorigenicity by suppressed MCH cell lines was accompanied by the coordinate loss of human chromosome 11p11.2-p12 and of WT1 gene expression, suggesting that one or more human 11p11.2-p12 genes are required for sustained expression of WT1 in these cell lines. Together, these results suggest that the molecular mechanism governing human chromosome 11p11.2-p12-mediated liver tumor suppression may involve induction of rat WT1 gene expression under the direct or indirect transcriptional regulation of a genetic locus (or loci) on human 11p11.2-p12.