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Mol Cell Biol. 2005 May;25(9):3563-74.

Id2 mediates tumor initiation, proliferation, and angiogenesis in Rb mutant mice.

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Institute for Cancer Genetics, Columbia University, 1150 St. Nicholas Avenue, New York, NY 10032, USA.


The inhibitor of differentiation Id2 is a target of the retinoblastoma (Rb) protein during mouse embryogenesis. In Rb(+/-) mice, LOH at the wild-type Rb allele initiates pituitary adenocarcinoma, a tumor derived from embryonic melanotropes. Here we identify a critical role for Id2 in initiation, growth, and angiogenesis of pituitary tumors from Rb(+/-) mice. We show that proliferation and differentiation are intimately coupled in Rb(+/-) pituitary cells before tumor initiation. In Id2-null pituitaries, premature activation of basic helix-loop-helix-mediated transcription and expression of the cdk inhibitor p27(Kip1) impairs the proliferation of melanotropes and tumor initiation. Without Id2, Rb(+/-) mice have fewer early tumor lesions and a markedly decreased proliferation rate of the tumor foci. Expression of Id2 by pituitary tumor cells promotes growth and angiogenesis by functioning as a master regulator of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). In human neuroblastoma, the N-Myc-driven expression of Id2 is sufficient and necessary for expression of VEGF. These results establish that aberrant Id2 activity directs initiation and progression of embryonal cancer.

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