The Wilms' tumor suppressor gene product (WT1) regulates expression of growth control genes. Microarray analysis of gene expression profiles of hormone-treated LNCaP prostate cancer cell lines transfected with either wild-type WT1 or a zinc finger mutant form, DDS (R394W), revealed significantly altered patterns of expression. Validation studies using quantitative real-time PCR confirmed the differential expression of the tumor progression gene, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). WT1-LNCaP cells had significantly reduced levels of VEGF mRNA when compared to vector control cells; in contrast, DDS-LNCaP cells showed elevated levels of VEGF transcripts. To address a functional role for WT1 overexpression, we investigated whether induction of VEGF expression, by the synthetic androgen R1881, would be disrupted in wild-type or mutant WT1-transfected LNCaP cells. Hormone treatment failed to elevate VEGF transcript levels above uninduced baseline levels in WT1-LNCaP cells, despite 48 h of treatment with 5 nM R1881. Consistent with our quantitative real-time PCR analysis, immunofluorescent staining of VEGF protein was reduced in WT1-LNCaP cells in both the presence and absence of R1881 treatment. Conversely, VEGF levels increased in vector control and DDS-LNCaP cells treated with 5 nM R1881. Not only do these studies point out the regulatory potential of WT1 for VEGF, but they also indicate an altered function for the mutant DDS isoform. Because VEGF is associated with neovascularization and promotion of metastasis in a variety of solid tumors including prostate cancer, a better understanding of the regulation of VEGF expression by transcription factors, such as WT1, is important for halting disease progression.