Upregulation of Id2, an oncogenic helix-loop-helix protein, is mediated by the chimeric EWS/ets protein in Ewing sarcoma

Oncogene. 2003 Jan 9;22(1):1-9. doi: 10.1038/sj.onc.1206055.


The chromosomal translocation specifically linked to the Ewing sarcoma family results in the generation of fusion proteins comprising the amino terminal portion of EWS and the DNA-binding domain of ets transcription factors. The EWS/ets chimeric proteins act as aberrant transcription factors leading to tumorigenic processes. We searched for genes specifically activated in Ewing sarcoma cells but not in other tumor cell lines using the gene array technique, and found significantly enhanced expression of the Id2 gene. High levels of Id2 transcripts were detected in Ewing sarcoma cell lines and tumor tissues. The EWS/ets chimeric proteins activated the Id2 gene via the 5'-upstream promoter sequence. Chromatin-immunoprecipitation revealed a direct interaction of EWS/Fli-1 with the promoter regions of the Id2, TGF-beta type II receptor, cyclin D1, and c-myc genes. Since EWS/Fli-1 transactivates c-myc, a cooperative action of the chimeric protein and c-myc leads to overexpression of Id2. In the present study, we suggest that Id2 is a target of the chimeric proteins and that the c-myc/Id2 pathway plays a pivotal role in the tumorigenic processes provoked by EWS/ets proteins.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Base Sequence
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Complementary
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / physiology
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Helix-Loop-Helix Motifs
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Inhibitor of Differentiation Protein 2
  • Male
  • Protein Binding
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / metabolism
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / physiology*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-ets
  • RNA-Binding Protein EWS / genetics
  • RNA-Binding Protein EWS / metabolism
  • RNA-Binding Protein EWS / physiology*
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / genetics
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / metabolism
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / physiology
  • Repressor Proteins*
  • Sarcoma, Ewing / genetics
  • Sarcoma, Ewing / metabolism*
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Transcription Factors / physiology*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Up-Regulation / physiology*


  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Complementary
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • ID2 protein, human
  • Inhibitor of Differentiation Protein 2
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-ets
  • RNA-Binding Protein EWS
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Transcription Factors