Id1, which belongs to the Id family of helix-loop-helix transcription factors has been most associated with tumor progression and metastatsis; however, its significance in lung cancers has not been extensively explored. Here we seek to evaluate the expression of Id1 in a pilot study of nonsmall-cell lung cancers (NSCLCs) and determine its diagnostic and functional significance in these tumors. Paired normal and malignant lung tissues as well as a panel of NSCLC primary tumors and cell lines were evaluated for Id1 expression using Western blotting and quantitative RT-PCR. Functional assays were performed to evaluate the role of Id1 in tumor cell growth, migration and progression. We find Id1 expression is upregulated in squamous cell carcinoma when compared to adenocarcinoma of the lung and that expression of Id1 versus the normal control is variable in NSCLCs. We also note that Id1 expression in NSCLC cells is largely growth factor dependant and constitutive expression of Id1 in NSCLC cells significantly increases tumor cell migration without affecting cell proliferation. We conclude that Id1, as a mediator of tumor cell migration, may be an indicator of aggressive potential in nonsmall-cell lung cancers.
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