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Mod Pathol. 2006 Jul;19(7):931-41. Epub 2006 Mar 31.

Id proteins expression in prostate cancer: high-level expression of Id-4 in primary prostate cancer is associated with development of metastases.

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Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong, China.


A major cause of treatment failure for prostate cancer is the development of androgen-independent metastatic disease. Id protein family, a group of basic helix-loop-helix transcription factors, has been shown to be involved in carcinogenesis and a prognostic marker in several types of human cancers. In this study, we examined the expressions of four Id proteins, Id-1, -2, -3 and -4, in 125 clinical prostate cancer specimens as well as 40 nodular hyperplasia specimens by immunohistochemistry. The expressions of Id proteins were correlated with Gleason grading and metastatic progress of the tumors. We found that Id proteins were dysregulated in prostate cancer. Id-1 and -2 expressions were elevated while Id-3 and -4 expressions were reduced in prostate cancers compared to nodular hyperplasia. Cytoplasmic staining of Id-1 (P=0.013) and nuclear staining of Id-2 (P=0.001) and Id-4 (P<0.001) were positively correlated with Gleason score. The results indicate that these Id proteins may play a positive role in the development of prostate cancer. In contrast, Id-3 might have an inverse relationship with prostate neoplastic transformation (P=0.002) and cancer progression (P=0.022). We found that Id-4 nuclear overexpression in the primary prostate cancers significantly increased the risks to the development of metastasis in the patients (odds ratio=3.215, 95% confidence interval=1.150-8.987, P=0.026). Our results suggest that in prostate cancer patients, differential Id proteins expressions may be a useful marker for poor prognosis, and Id-4 may be a potential prognostic marker for distant metastasis.

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