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

WIF1, an inhibitor of the Wnt pathway, is rearranged in salivary gland tumors.

Chromosome rearrangements involving 12q13-15 are frequent among several tumors, including pleomorphic adenomas. The common molecular target for these aberrations is the HMGA2 gene, but various fusion partners of HMGA2 have been reported in tumors. Here we report the identification of the WNT inhibitory factor 1 (WIF1) gene as a novel HMGA2 fusion partner in a salivary gland pleomorphic adenoma. In normal salivary gland tissue WIF1 is expressed at a high level and HMGA2 is not expressed. However, in the pleomorphic adenoma expressing the HMGA2/WIF1 fusion transcript, we observed re-expression of HMGA2 wild-type transcripts and very low levels of WIF1 expression. These data suggest a possible synergistic effect between upregulation of HMGA2 and downregulation of WIF1. We screened 13 additional benign and malignant salivary gland tumors and detected WIF1 rearrangement in one out of two carcinomas ex-pleomorphic adenoma analyzed. In this malignant tumor, the rearrangement of one WIF1 allele coexists with loss of the other allele, a classic signature of a tumor suppressor gene. WIF1 is an antagonist of the Wnt signaling pathway, which plays a critical role in human cancer. In transgenic mouse models, Wnt activation leads to a high frequency of benign and malignant salivary gland tumors. To our knowledge, this is the first report suggesting that WIF1 is a recurrent target in human salivary gland oncogenesis and that downregulation of WIF1 plays a role in the development and/or progression of pleomorphic adenomas. (c) 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.[1]


  1. WIF1, an inhibitor of the Wnt pathway, is rearranged in salivary gland tumors. Queimado, L., Lopes, C.S., Reis, A.M. Genes Chromosomes Cancer (2007) [Pubmed]
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