Desmoplastic small round cell tumor (DSRCT) is a primitive sarcoma characterized by a recurrent chromosomal translocation, t(11;22)(p13;q12), which fuses the 5′ exons of the EWS gene to the 3′ exons of the WT1 gene. EWS-WT1 chimeras are heterogeneous as a result of fusions of different regions of the EWS gene to the WT1 gene. We report here a rare and novel EWS-WT1 variant, EWS-WT1 5/10, in a 6-year-old boy diagnosed with DSRCT and analyze the potential transactivation effect of the fusion oncoprotein. The predicted product is comprised of the N-terminal transactivation domain of EWS and lacks any sequence derived from the WT1 gene product. Nonetheless, the truncated protein was able to stimulate expression of the insulin-like growth factor-I receptor gene, a potent antiapoptotic receptor tyrosine kinase with potentially important roles in DSRCT etiology. These findings raise the possibility that the oncogenic potential of EWS-WT1 fusions is not necessarily a consequence of the fusion protein product per se.
- IGF receptor
- Insulin-like growth factor-I