Expression Pattern of Id Proteins in Medulloblastoma

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    Expression Pattern of Id Proteins in Medulloblastoma

    Andrew D. Snyder & Ashley N. Dulin-Smith &Ronald H. Houston & Ashley N. Durban &Bethany J. Brisbin & Tyler D. Oostra &Jordan T. Marshall & Basil M. Kahwash &Christopher R. Pierson

    Received: 3 July 2012 /Accepted: 21 December 2012 /Published online: 9 February 2013# Arnyi Lajos Foundation 2013

    Abstract Inhibitor of DNA binding or inhibitor of differ-entiation (Id) proteins are up regulated in a variety of neo-plasms, particularly in association with high-grade, poorlydifferentiated tumors, while differentiated tissues show littleor no Id expression. The four Id genes are members of thehelix-loop-helix (HLH) family of transcription factors andact as negative regulators of transcription by binding to andsequestering HLH complexes. We tested the hypothesis thatId proteins are overexpressed in medulloblastoma byperforming immunohistochemistry using a medulloblasto-ma tissue microarray with 45 unique medulloblastoma and11 normal control cerebella, and antibodies specific for Id1,Id2, Id3, and Id4. A semi-quantitative staining score thattook staining intensity and the proportion of immunoreac-tive cells into account was used. Id1 was not detected innormal cerebella or in medulloblastoma cells, but 78 % oftumors showed strong Id1 expression in endothelial nucleiof tumor vessels. Id2 expression was scant in normal cere-bella and increased in medulloblastoma (median stainingscore: 4). Id3 expression was noted in some neurons of the

    developing cerebellar cortex, but it was markedly up regu-lated in medulloblastoma (median staining score: 12) and intumor endothelial cells. Id4 was not expressed in normalcerebella or in tumor cells. Id2 or Id3 overexpression droveproliferation in medulloblastoma cell lines by altering theexpression of critical cell cycle regulatory proteins in favorof cell proliferation. This study shows that Id1 expression inendothelial cells may contribute to angiogenic processes andthat increased expression of Id2 and Id3 in medulloblastomais potentially involved in tumor cell proliferation andsurvival.

    Keywords Medulloblastoma . Id proteins . Id2 . Id3 .



    Medulloblastoma is the most common high grade braintumor in children and accounts for about 20 % of all pedi-atric brain tumors [1]. Five-year survival rates are higherthan they have ever been, but many challenges remain; aschildren continue to die of disease well after this 5-yearperiod and survivors are too commonly left with adverselife-long complications due to the effects of radiation ther-apy administered to the developing brain [2]). These com-plications typically manifest as declines in intellectualfunction or psychological issues that impair a survivorsability to achieve their full potential [2]. There is a pressingneed to learn more about medulloblastoma biology to iden-tify new therapeutic targets.

    There are four inhibitor of DNA binding or inhibitor ofdifferentiation (Id) proteins, which are encoded by differentgenes (ID1, ID2, ID3 and ID4). Id proteins are members ofthe helix-loop-helix (HLH) family of transcription factors[3]. Dimerization of HLH transcription factors mediates

    A. D. Snyder :A. N. Dulin-Smith :A. N. Durban :B. J. Brisbin :T. D. Oostra : J. T. Marshall : B. M. Kahwash : C. R. PiersonThe Research Institute, Nationwide Childrens Hospital,Columbus, OH, USA

    R. H. Houston :C. R. PiersonDepartment of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine,Nationwide Childrens Hospital, Columbus, OH, USA

    B. J. Brisbin : T. D. Oostra :C. R. PiersonThe Department of Pathology, The Ohio State University Collegeof Medicine, Columbus, OH, USA

    C. R. Pierson (*)Department of Laboratory Medicine, Anatomic Pathology, J0359,Nationwide Childrens Hospital, 700 Childrens Drive,Columbus, OH 43205, USAe-mail:

    Pathol. Oncol. Res. (2013) 19:437446DOI 10.1007/s12253-012-9599-4

  • transcriptional activity, but unlike other HLH proteins, Idproteins lack a DNA binding domain, so when an Id proteinbinds another HLH protein the complex cannot bind DNAand fails to mediate transcription. This makes Id proteins anaturally occurring dominant negative regulator oftranscription.

    Much of the early work on Id proteins centered on theirrole in development [46], but Id proteins also regulatemany essential aspects of tumor biology such as cell prolif-eration, differentiation, survival, and invasion as well asangiogenesis and have therefore attracted attention as apotential cancer specific target [3, 7, 8]. Increased Id proteinexpression is typically associated with high-grade tumors[7] and may be due to persistent growth factor stimulation,but epigenetic mechanisms may also be involved [3, 8, 9].Studies in models of development and neoplasia indicatethat Id proteins maintain cells in a poorly differentiated,proliferative state, and while the precise mechanism of Idprotein function is not known, Id proteins are consideredpositive-regulators of the cell cycle, and can modulate tran-scription of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors [1012];while Id2, in particular, binds retinoblastoma and may havea regulatory role in G1 progression [3, 13, 14].

    Studies of Id protein expression in human cerebellum andmedulloblastoma are limited, so we initiated this study totest the hypothesis that Id protein expression is deregulatedin medulloblastoma. We addressed this hypothesis byimmunostaining a medulloblastoma tissue microarray with45 tumor and 11 control cerebella using antibodies thatspecifically recognize all four Id proteins. We also startedto explore the role of Id proteins in cell cycle regulationusing medulloblastoma cell lines.


    Medulloblastoma Tissue Microarray

    Medulloblastoma tissue microarray slides were obtainedfrom the Biopathology Center at the Research Institute atNationwide Childrens Hospital, following a review of theproject by the Institutional Review Board and the ChildrensOncology Group. The array includes 45 unique medullo-blastoma cases and 11 normal cerebella as controls and wasprepared using Childrens Oncology Group samples thatunderwent diagnostic workup and expert peer review. De-mographic data were available from 44 of the medulloblas-toma cases consisting of 28 males and 16 females. Theaverage age of medulloblastoma patients was 74 years(median: 6.75 years, range: 1 month to 16 years, 9 months).The 11 normal cerebellar controls comprised 9 males and 2females. Five of the controls came from patients within thefirst year of life (23 gestational weeks, 3 days, 7 days,

    4 months and 8 months), which is a critical period ofcerebellar development, while the remainder were fromolder patients (5 years, 6 years, 15 years, 16 years, 21 yearsand 26 years). The array contained between 1 and 8 duplicateareas from represented tumors and normal controls that wererandomly spaced throughout the slide.


    The immunohistochemistry procedure was automated on theBondMax IHC system (Leica Microsystems, Bannockburn,IL) using the Id protein specific antibodies described inTable 1. Antigen retrieval was performed as denoted inTable 1 and signal was detected using the Refine Polymer,DAB (Leica Microsystems, Bannockburn, IL). All antibod-ies were validated using multi-tissue blocks, containingbreast, prostate and kidney. Negative controls were obtainedby substituting the primary antibody with a Universal Neg-ative Control Serum (Biocare Medical, Concord, CA)

    Staining intensity was scored on a four-tier scale: 0, nostaining; 1, mild staining; 2, moderate staining; and 3, strongstaining. A categorical system was used for the percentage oftumor cells stained: 0, no tumor cells stained; 1, 1 % to 25 %;2, 26 % to 50 %; 3, 51 % to 75 %; and 4, over 76 % of tumorcells stained. Two observers (CRP, BMK) recorded immuno-histochemical findings using a Zeiss light microscope (Thorn-wood, NY) with consensus achieved on difficult cases. Animmunohistochemical staining score was derived as the prod-uct of the overall staining intensity and the percentage oftumor cells stained according to the categorical scale. Manytumors were represented multiple times on the array and thehighest staining score was reported for these cases.

    Cell Culture

    Medulloblastoma cell lines UW288, UW426, D341 andD283 were gifts from Dr. Corey Raffel at Nationwide Child-rens Hospital. All cell lines were cultured in DMEM sup-plemented with 10 % fetal bovine serum and incubated at37C in 5 % CO2. Stable cell lines over expressing Id2 orId3 or empty expression vectors as controls (OrigeneRC205324, RC200583, PS100007, respectively) were gen-erated using Lipofectamine 2000 per the manufacturersrecommendations (Life Technologies, Grand Island, NY).

    Proliferation Assay

    One thousand cells were plated in each well of a 96 well plateand cultured in DMEM supplemented with 10 % fetal bovineserum and incubated at 37C in 5 % CO2. Ten microlitre ofAlamarBlue (Life Technologies, Grand Island, NY) wasadded to each well and fluorescence was measured at theindicated time points using the SpectraMaxM2E plate reader

    438 A.D. Snyder et al.

  • (Molecular Devices, Sunnyvale, CA). Each experiment wasperformed three times with four replicates for each time point.

    Western Blotting

    Cells were lysed using Mammalian Protein ExtractionReagent (Pierce Biochemical Rockford, IL) and proteinconcentrations determined using the BCA method (Pierce,Rockford, IL). Protein samples were separated through 420 % Tris-Glycine gels (Invitrogen), transferred to PVDFmembranes (Biorad, Hercules, CA), and probed with appro-priate antibodies (Table 2). Immun-Star Western C (Biorad,Hercules, CA) chemiluminescent substrate was applied tothe membranes, which were imaged using a VersaDoc (Bio-rad,