The Emu-Myc transgenic mouse appears to be an accurate model of human Burkitt's lymphoma that bears MYC/Immunoglobulin gene translocations. Id2, a negative regulator of basic helix-loop-helix transcription factors, has also been proposed as a Myc target gene that drives the proliferative response of Myc by binding to and overriding the checkpoint functions of the retinoblastoma tumor suppressor protein. Targeted deletion of Id2 in mice results in defects in B-cell development and prevents the development of peripheral lymphoid nodes. In precancerous B cells and lymphomas that arise in Emu-Myc transgenic mice and in Burkitt's lymphomas, Id2 is overexpressed, suggesting that it plays a regulatory role in lymphoma development. Surprisingly, despite these connections, Emu-Myc mice lacking Id2 succumb to lethal B-cell lymphoma at rates comparable with wild-type Emu-Myc transgenics. Furthermore, precancerous splenic B cells lacking Id2 do not exhibit any significant defects in Myc-induced target gene transactivation and proliferation. However, due to their lack of secondary lymph nodes, Emu-Myc mice lacking Id2 rather succumb to disseminated lymphoma with an associated leukemia, with pronounced infiltrates of the bone marrow and other major organs. Collectively these findings argue that targeting Id2 functions may be ineffective in preventing Myc-associated malignancies.