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The Yin and Yang of kidney development and Wilms’ tumours

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)467-482
Number of pages16
JournalGenes & Development
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2015


Wilms' tumor, or nephroblastoma, is the most common pediatric renal cancer. The tumors morphologically resemble embryonic kidneys with a disrupted architecture and are associated with undifferentiated metanephric precursors. Here, we discuss genetic and epigenetic findings in Wilms' tumor in the context of renal development. Many of the genes implicated in Wilms' tumorigenesis are involved in the control of nephron progenitors or the microRNA (miRNA) processing pathway. Whereas the first group of genes has been extensively studied in normal development, the second finding suggests important roles for miRNAs in general-and specific miRNAs in particular-in normal kidney development that still await further analysis. The recent identification of Wilms' tumor cancer stem cells could provide a framework to integrate these pathways and translate them into new or improved therapeutic interventions.

    Research areas

  • Animals, Epigenesis, Genetic, Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental, Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic, Humans, Kidney, Kidney Neoplasms, MicroRNAs, Organogenesis, Wilms Tumor

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