1. Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, DC, USA
2. Department of Neuropathology and Ophthalmic Pathology, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington, DC, USA
Background: The inhibitor of differentiation/DNA binding protein family (Id1-4) is involved in cell cycle control, tumorigenesis and angiogenesis through the negative regulation of helix-loop-helix transcription factors. Of these proteins, Id4 is known to play an important role in neural stem cell differentiation, and deregulation has been implicated in glial neoplasia. However, the expression and significance of Id4 in astrocytomas has not been fully addressed. Herein we report the differential expression of Id4 in astrocytomas of various grades using tissue microarrays (TMA) and immunohistochemistry (IHC).
Design: The GBM TMA was constructed from 53 archival cases at Georgetown University Hospital and a TMA with normal brain controls and grades II-III astrocytoma was obtained from Cybrdi (Rockville, MD). TMA sections were stained with Id4 antibody and the slides were scored according to the percentage of staining astrocytic nuclei (<9% -, 10-50% +, >51% ++). The Fisher Exact test was used to test for statistical significance.
Results: Nuclear staining for Id4 was seen in 73.58% GBMs, 25% grade III, and 12.5% grade II astrocytomas; staining was absent in normal brain tissue. There was a statistically significant difference between GBM and grades II, III astrocytoma (p <0.01). Significant Id4 expression was not detected in normal brain.
Conclusions: Our study confirms the frequent upregulation of Id4 expression in GBM, which lends support to its role in tumorigenesis, possibly in the transformation of low to high-grade astrocytoma (i.e. GBM). Further studies are warranted to determine the precise role of Id4 in glial neoplasia and its potential use in targeted therapy for GBM.
Keywords: glioblastoma, helix-loop-helix, Id4, immunohistochemistry, tissue microarray, transcription factor