The WT1 Wilms' tumor suppressor gene is a downstream target for insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) action in PC12 cells

Rive Sarfstein, Haim Werner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The biological actions of the insulin-like growth factors, IGF-I and IGF-II, are mediated by the ligand-induced activation of the IGF-I receptor (IGF-IR), a transmembrane heterotetramer linked to the ras-raf-mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and phosphatidyl inositol 3 kinase (PI3K)-protein kinase B (PKB)/Akt signal transduction cascades. The Wilms' tumor suppressor gene (wt1) encodes a zinc finger transcription factor, WT1, which has been implicated in various cellular processes including proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis. In the present study we demonstrated that IGF-I modulates the WT1 gene expression in neurally derived PC12 cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner. This effect was mediated through both the MAPK and PI3-kinase signaling pathways, as shown by the ability of the specific inhibitors UO126 and LY294002 to abrogate IGF-I action. Moreover, using RT-PCR and transient transfection assays, we demonstrated that the IGF-I effect was associated with corresponding changes in WT1 mRNA levels and WT1 promoter activity. In addition, the results of the present study revealed that high WT1 levels were associated with the induction of apoptosis, whereas low WT1 levels were correlated with the inhibition of apoptosis, as demonstrated by poly ADP ribose polymerase (PARP) cleavage, Bax expression, Annexin V-FITC staining, and by the use of antisense oligonucleotides against WT1. In summary, our results show that the wt1 gene is a novel target for IGF-I action in neurally derived cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)818-826
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 2006


  • Insulin-like growth factor-I
  • Insulin-like growth factor-I receptor
  • PC12 cells
  • WT1
  • Wilms' tumor


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