The Journal of biological chemistry

Wilms Tumor Suppressor, WT1, Cooperates with MicroRNA-26a and MicroRNA-101 to Suppress Translation of the Polycomb Protein, EZH2, in Mesenchymal Stem Cells.

PMID 26655220


Hereditary forms of Wilms arise from developmentally arrested clones of renal progenitor cells with biallelic mutations of WT1; recently, it has been found that Wilms tumors may also be associated with biallelic mutations in DICER1 or DROSHA, crucial for miRNA biogenesis. We have previously shown that a critical role for WT1 during normal nephrogenesis is to suppress transcription of the Polycomb group protein, EZH2, thereby de-repressing genes in the differentiation cascade. Here we show that WT1 also suppresses translation of EZH2. All major WT1 isoforms induce an array of miRNAs, which target the 3' UTR of EZH2 and other Polycomb-associated transcripts. We show that the WT1(+KTS) isoform binds to the 5' UTR of EZH2 and interacts directly with the miRNA-containing RISC to enhance post-transcriptional inhibition. These observations suggest a novel mechanism through which WT1 regulates the transition from resting stem cell to activated progenitor cell during nephrogenesis. Our findings also offer a plausible explanation for the fact that Wilms tumors can arise either from loss of WT1 or loss of miRNA processing enzymes.