Genetic and epigenetic features of bilateral Wilms tumor predisposition in patients from the Children's Oncology Group AREN18B5-Q

Nat Commun. 2023 Dec 18;14(1):8006. doi: 10.1038/s41467-023-43730-0.


Developing synchronous bilateral Wilms tumor suggests an underlying (epi)genetic predisposition. Here, we evaluate this predisposition in 68 patients using whole exome or genome sequencing (n = 85 tumors from 61 patients with matched germline blood DNA), RNA-seq (n = 99 tumors), and DNA methylation analysis (n = 61 peripheral blood, n = 29 non-diseased kidney, n = 99 tumors). We determine the predominant events for bilateral Wilms tumor predisposition: 1)pre-zygotic germline genetic variants readily detectable in blood DNA [WT1 (14.8%), NYNRIN (6.6%), TRIM28 (5%), and BRCA-related genes (5%)] or 2)post-zygotic epigenetic hypermethylation at 11p15.5 H19/ICR1 that may require analysis of multiple tissue types for diagnosis. Of 99 total tumor specimens, 16 (16.1%) have 11p15.5 normal retention of imprinting, 25 (25.2%) have 11p15.5 copy neutral loss of heterozygosity, and 58 (58.6%) have 11p15.5 H19/ICR1 epigenetic hypermethylation (loss of imprinting). Here, we ascertain the epigenetic and genetic modes of bilateral Wilms tumor predisposition.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • DNA
  • DNA Methylation / genetics
  • Epigenesis, Genetic
  • Genomic Imprinting
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Kidney Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Kidney Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Wilms Tumor* / genetics
  • Wilms Tumor* / pathology


  • DNA