Marsupial WT1 Has a Novel Isoform and Is Expressed in Both Somatic and Germ Cells in the Developing Ovary and Testis Academic Article uri icon


  • The Wilms' tumour 1 gene is essential for the formation of the mouse and human urogenital systems. We characterised this gene and examined its expression throughout gonadal development in a marsupial, the tammar wallaby. WT1 protein was detected in the Sertoli and granulosa cells of the developing testis and ovary, respectively. There was also strong immunostaining in the germ cells of both males and females at all stages of gonadal development. In the adult gonads WT1 appears to be dynamically regulated during spermatogenesis and oogenesis. Tammar WT1 has a novel isoform in which a portion of exon 1 is removed, partially deleting the RNA recognition motif (RRM). Despite its removal, WT1 still localised to RNA rich regions of the oocyte including speckled bodies within the nucleus, in the nucleolus and the perinucleolar compartment. This suggests that the RRM is not required for WT1 co-localisation with RNA. This is also the first report of WT1 in association with the perinucleolar compartment, important for RNA metabolism. Our data suggest that WT1 has a conserved function in both the somatic and germ cell lineages of the gonads of marsupials.


publication date

  • 2007

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