Id2 protein is selectively upregulated by UVB in primary, but not in immortalized human keratinocytes and inhibits differentiation

Oncogene. 2005 Aug 18;24(35):5443-58. doi: 10.1038/sj.onc.1208709.


Solar ultraviolet B (UVB) acts as both an initiator and promoter in models of multistage skin carcinogenesis. We found that, whereas UVB induces apoptosis in human papillomavirus-16 E6/7-immortalized keratinocytes, it inhibits markers of differentiation in human foreskin keratinocytes (HFK). Potential mechanisms for this differential response were examined by DNA microarray, which revealed that UVB alters the expression of three of the four human inhibitor of differentiation/DNA binding (Id) proteins that comprise a class of helix-loop-helix family of transcription factors involved in proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis, and carcinogenesis. These results were verified by RT-PCR and immunoblot analysis of control and UVB-irradiated primary and immortalized keratinocytes. Whereas Id1 was downregulated in both cell types, Id2 expression was upregulated in primary HFK, but not immortalized cells. In contrast, Id3 expression was significantly increased only in immortalized cells. The differential expression pattern of Id2 in response to UVB was recapitulated in reporter constructs containing the 5' regulatory regions of this gene. Id2 promoter activity increased in response to UVB in HFK, but not in immortalized cells. To identify the regulatory elements in the Id2 promoter that mediate transcriptional activation by UVB in HFK, promoter deletion/mutation analysis was performed. Deletion analysis revealed that transactivation involves a 166 bp region immediately upstream to the Id2 transcriptional start site and is independent of c-Myc. The consensus E twenty-six (ETS) binding site at -120 appears to mediate UVB transcriptional activation of Id2 because point mutations at this site completely abrogated this response. Chromatin immunoprecipitation and electrophoretic mobility-shift assays verified that the Id2 promoter interacts with known Id2 promoter (ETS) binding factors Erg1/2 and Fli1, but not with c-Myc; and this interaction is enhanced after UVB exposure. Similar to the effects of UVB exposure, ectopic expression of Id2 protein in primary HFK resulted in inhibition of differentiation, as shown by decreased levels of the terminal differentiation marker keratin K1 and inhibition of involucrin crosslinking. Reduction of Id2 expression by small interfering RNAs attenuated the UVB-induced inhibition of differentiation in these cells. These results suggest that UVB-induced inhibition of differentiation of primary HFK is at least, in part, due to the upregulation of Id2, and that upregulation of Id2 by UVB might predispose keratinocytes to carcinogenesis by preventing their normal differentiation program.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Differentiation / radiation effects*
  • Cell Line, Transformed
  • Cells, Cultured
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / radiation effects*
  • Electrophoretic Mobility Shift Assay
  • Gene Expression / radiation effects
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Humans
  • Immunoblotting
  • Immunoprecipitation
  • Inhibitor of Differentiation Protein 2
  • Keratinocytes / cytology*
  • Keratinocytes / radiation effects*
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Repressor Proteins / genetics
  • Repressor Proteins / metabolism
  • Repressor Proteins / radiation effects*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / radiation effects*
  • Transcriptional Activation / radiation effects
  • Ultraviolet Rays
  • Up-Regulation


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • ID2 protein, human
  • Inhibitor of Differentiation Protein 2
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Transcription Factors