The Wilms' tumour-suppressor gene (WT1), encodes a zinc-finger transcription factor that is critical for the development of several organs, including the kidneys, gonads and spleen. Despite its identification as a tumour suppressor that plays a crucial role in the formation of a paediatric malignancy of the kidneys (Wilms' tumour), it has also emerged as an oncogenic factor influencing proliferation and apoptosis in a large variety of adult cancers. This review focuses on new insights into WT1's role in early development and its potential oncogenic role in adult cancer.

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