WT1, male fertility and tumorigenesisDetailed in an upcoming report in G&D, Dr. Miles Wilkinson and colleagues use a new tissue-specific RNAi approach they developed to identify a novel postnatal role for the Wilms' tumor 1 (WT1) tumor suppressor in spermatogenesis. In a powerful example of the utility of their in vivo RNAi technology, the authors knock-down expression of WT1 specifically in Sertoli nurse cells in vivo. In conjunction with similar results the researchers obtained from dominant negative WT1 experiments, the authors conclude that the WT1 tumor suppressor drives spermatogenesis in the adult male. The authors' RNAi approach has the potential to delineate the tissue-specific function of virtually any gene in the mouse genome. Dr. Wilkinson emphasizes that this method could potentially be used in humans "to knockdown the expression of mutant or overexpressed genes that cause human diseases, including cancer."
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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