Date of Award

Spring 5-20-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Jaideep Chaudhary, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Joann Powell, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Valerie Odero-Marah, Ph.D.


Inhibitor of differentiation 4 (ID4), a member of the helix-loop-helix family of transcriptional regulators has emerged as a tumor suppressor in prostate cancer (PCa). Recent studies have shown that Id4 is highly expressed in the normal prostate and decreases in prostate cancer due to epigenetic silencing. Id4 knockdown in androgen sensitive LNCaP cells has been shown to lead to castration resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) in vitro and in vivo. Id4-/- mice leads to underdeveloped prostate with PIN like lesions without the loss of Androgen Receptor (AR) expression. In this study we demonstrate that the loss of ID4 expression in PCa cell line LNCaP and DU145 may promote tumorigenesis by promoting stemness.

LNCaP cells with stably silenced ID4 ((-)ID4) using retroviral based shRNA and LNCaP transfected with non-specific shRNA were used to perform colony forming assay and prostatosphere formation using matrigel. Expression of cancer stem cell markers was determined using western blotting and immunocytochemistry (ICC). FACS analysis was used to sort stem cells and determine the ID4 expression. Xenograft study was performed on SCID mice using CD133 positive LNCaP cells.

LNCaP(-)ID4 and DU145 cells lacking ID4 showed increased holoclone as well as decreased paraclone formation, which are believed to be derived from stem cells and differentiated cells respectively, as compared to non-silencing control in the colony forming assay. There was also an increase in prostatosphere development in the LNCaP (-) ID4 cells indicating that the loss of ID4 is responsible for promoting the LNCaP cells towards cancer stem cells. The results were further validated via western blotting and ICC using known cancer stem cell markers on the holoclones and paraclones formed by these cells. Xenograft study showed that 10,000 cells from CD133 positive LNCaP cells developed tumor on SCID mice. This study reports for the first time that loss of ID4 increases holoclone and prostatosphere formation indicating that Id4 may contribute to promoting stemness in prostate cancer cells.