Clinical spectrum of Denys-Drash and Frasier syndrome

Pediatr Nephrol. 2001 Apr;16(4):335-9. doi: 10.1007/s004670000541.


Denys-Drash syndrome (DDS) and Frasier syndrome (FS) are two related conditions caused by mutations of the Wilms tumor gene, WT1. Both syndromes are characterized by male pseudohermaphroditism, a progressive glomerulopathy, and the development of genitourinary tumors. DDS and FS have previously been distinguished by differences in nephropathy, with DDS patients demonstrating diffuse mesangial sclerosis (DMS) in contrast to focal and segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) in FS patients. The clinicopathological features and genotype analysis of two patients with WT1 mutations are presented in this report. Genotype analysis of the first patient revealed a previously undescribed mutation in exon 8 of the WT1 gene. The second patient presented with a rapidly progressive nephropathy characterized histologically by DMS, but was found to have the genetic mutation seen in FS patients. A summary of all reported patients with the characteristic mutation associated with FS demonstrates the clinical overlap of this syndrome with DDS. This suggests that both these conditions should be considered as part of the spectrum of disease due to WT1 gene mutations rather than as separate diseases. Clinical classification remains important for prognosis, as the underlying renal disease appears to predict the progression of nephropathy independently of the genetic abnormality.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence / genetics
  • Child, Preschool
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • Disorders of Sex Development / genetics
  • Disorders of Sex Development / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Kidney Diseases / genetics
  • Kidney Diseases / pathology
  • Kidney Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Syndrome
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Urogenital Neoplasms / genetics
  • Urogenital Neoplasms / physiopathology*
  • WT1 Proteins


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • WT1 Proteins