An analysis of loss of heterozygosity for markers on both the short and the long arm of chromosome 11 was performed in 24 sporadic Wilms tumors. Six cases (25%) showed allelic losses involving the entire chromosome. In one case (4%) the loss was restricted solely to the WT1 gene on band p13. Two cases (8%) displayed allelic losses for WT1 and for markers on band p15.5, where the putative tumor suppressor gene WT2 has been mapped, but retained heterozygosity for markers on the long arm. In three tumors (13%) the loss of heterozygosity involved markers mapped to chromosomal regions p15.5 and q23.3-qter, but did not affect WT1 and markers on q12-q13. Altogether, the proportion of cases showing allelic losses at the distal region of 11q (37%) was comparable to that of cases with LOH affecting the WT1 (37%) or the WT2 (46%) loci, thus suggesting the existence of a third chromosome 11 tumor suppressor gene involved in the pathogenesis of Wilms tumors.
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