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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Significant co-expression of WT1 and MDR1 genes in acute myeloid leukemia patients at diagnosis.

A high expression of Wilms' tumor gene (WT1) in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) seems to correlate with a poor outcome and its increased levels can be predictive of an impending relapse. WT1 has been shown in vitro to interact with the promoter of the MDR1, a gene involved in the multidrug resistance phenomenon. The aim of this study was to measure, by real-time polymerase chain reaction, levels of WT1 and MDR1 expression, in order to find a possible association between these genes, in a series of 50 newly diagnosed AML cases. Twenty-five percent of patients carried very high (>75 degrees percentile) MDR1- and 23.3%WT1-mRNA levels. Interestingly, high levels of WT1 were significantly correlated with correspondent high levels of MDR1 gene. Nevertheless, the co-expression of these genes did not significantly influence the complete response rate to the induction therapy. Reported data confirm the existence of a co-expression of WT1 and MDR1 genes even in vivo; this may be relevant because one consequence could be the positive selection by chemotherapeutic regimens of cells with higher MDR1 levels already present before treatment. Thus, the association between these genes could suggest avoiding the use of drugs involved in the multidrug resistance (MDR) phenomenon in patients carrying high levels of WT1 at diagnosis.[1]


  1. Significant co-expression of WT1 and MDR1 genes in acute myeloid leukemia patients at diagnosis. Galimberti, S., Guerrini, F., Carulli, G., Fazzi, R., Palumbo, G.A., Morabito, F., Petrini, M. Eur. J. Haematol. (2004) [Pubmed]
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