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The tumorigenicity of cancer cells is highly influenced by the extracellular matrix (ECM) through mechanisms that are poorly understood. Here it is reported that a variety of 3D ECM microenvironments strongly induce expression of Id1 and Id3 in melanoma cells. Genetic ablation of Id1/Id3 impairs melanoma cell outgrowth in 3D Matrigel culture and inhibits melanoma initiation in vivo. Mechanistically, 3D ECM microenvironments hinder diffusion of endogenously produced bone morphogenetic proteins,doi:10.5445/ir/1000127787 fatcat:fxgjtljauvappmnpdhjefovmji