Gene Summary

Gene:ALDH1A1; aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 family member A1
Aliases: ALDC, ALDH1, HEL-9, HEL12, PUMB1, ALDH11, RALDH1, ALDH-E1, HEL-S-53e
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene belongs to the aldehyde dehydrogenase family. Aldehyde dehydrogenase is the next enzyme after alcohol dehydrogenase in the major pathway of alcohol metabolism. There are two major aldehyde dehydrogenase isozymes in the liver, cytosolic and mitochondrial, which are encoded by distinct genes, and can be distinguished by their electrophoretic mobility, kinetic properties, and subcellular localization. This gene encodes the cytosolic isozyme. Studies in mice show that through its role in retinol metabolism, this gene may also be involved in the regulation of the metabolic responses to high-fat diet. [provided by RefSeq, Mar 2011]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:retinal dehydrogenase 1
Source:NCBIAccessed: 31 August, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
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Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 31 August 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

  • Bladder Cancer
  • Triple Negative Breast Cancer
  • Ewing's Sarcoma
  • Aldehyde Dehydrogenase
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • G-Protein-Coupled Receptors
  • Tissue Array Analysis
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Thyroid Cancer
  • ortho-Aminobenzoates
  • Cancer Stem Cells
  • Protein Transport
  • Xestospongia
  • Transcription
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Phosphoramide Mustards
  • Proteomics
  • Lung Cancer
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Transfection
  • ALDH1A1
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • SOXB1 Transcription Factors
  • Signal Transduction
  • Retinoic Acid
  • Tumor Burden
  • Drug Resistance
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptors
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Isoenzymes
  • siRNA
  • Solitary Fibrous Tumors
  • Zinc Finger Protein Gli2
  • Chromosome 9
  • beta Catenin
  • Breast Cancer
  • Messenger RNA
Tag cloud generated 31 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (3)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: ALDH1A1 (cancer-related)

Zhang H, Hao C, Wang H, et al.
Carboxypeptidase A4 promotes proliferation and stem cell characteristics of hepatocellular carcinoma.
Int J Exp Pathol. 2019; 100(2):133-138 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2020 Related Publications
Carboxypeptidase A4 (CPA4), a member of the metallo-carboxypeptidase family, is overexpressed in liver cancer and is associated with cancer progression. The role of CPA4 in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remains unclear. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the relevance of CPA4 to the proliferation and expression of stem cell characteristics of hepatocellular carcinoma cells. Western blot analysis showed high CPA4 expression in the liver cancer cell line Bel7402 and low expression in HepG2 cells. Knock-down of CPA4 decreased cancer cell proliferation as detected by MTT and clone formation assays. The serum-free culture system revealed that downregulated CPA4 suppressed the sphere formation capacities of tumour cells. However, upregulated CPA4 increased the proliferation and sphere formation capacity. In addition, the protein expression of CD133, ALDH1 and CD44 also increased in cells with upregulated CPA4. In vivo, the overexpression of CPA4 in tumour cells that were subcutaneously injected into nude mice markedly increased the growth of the tumours. These data suggest that CPA4 expression leads to poor prognoses by regulating tumour proliferation and the expression of stem cell characteristics and may therefore serve as a potential therapeutic target of HCC.

Cao H, Chu X, Wang Z, et al.
High FOXK1 expression correlates with poor outcomes in hepatocellular carcinoma and regulates stemness of hepatocellular carcinoma cells.
Life Sci. 2019; 228:128-134 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIMS: Forkhead box (FOX) proteins constitute a huge family of transcriptional regulators, which are involved in a wide range of cancers. FOXK1 is a little studied member of FOXK subfamily. This study aimed to investigate the potential prognostic value of FOXK1 in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and explore potential underlying mechanisms.
MAIN METHODS: We performed bioinformatic analyses to evaluate the prognostic value of FOXK1 expression in human HCC and to reveal the underlying mechanism by which FOXK1 regulates HCC. RT-PCR, FACS analysis and sphere formation assay were carried out to investigate the role of FOXK1 in regulating liver cancer stem cells.
KEY FINDINGS: Our results demonstrated that FOXK1 was overexpressed in human HCC and positively correlated with cancer progression. DNA hypomethylation and gene copy number variation contributed to the overexpression of FOXK1. Importantly, high FOXK1 expression was associated with both low overall survival probability (OS) and low relapse free survival probability (RFS) of HCC patients. Intriguingly, we found that high FOXK1 expression was correlated with activation of stem cell-regulating pathways in human HCC. Knockdown of FOXK1 resulted in downregulation of the cancer stem cell marker EpCAM and ALDH1 and decreased sphere-forming ability of hepatocellular carcinoma cells.
SIGNIFICANCE: Overall, our study identified FOXK1 as a new biomarker for prognosis of HCC patients and revealed its role in regulating stemness of hepatocellular carcinoma cells.

Świerczewska M, Sterzyńska K, Wojtowicz K, et al.
PTPRK Expression Is Downregulated in Drug Resistant Ovarian Cancer Cell Lines, and Especially in ALDH1A1 Positive CSCs-Like Populations.
Int J Mol Sci. 2019; 20(8) [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2020 Related Publications

Wang Y, Zhong Y, Hou T, et al.
PM2.5 induces EMT and promotes CSC properties by activating Notch pathway in vivo and vitro.
Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2019; 178:159-167 [PubMed] Related Publications
Fine particulate matter (PM2.5) has been closely linked to increased morbidity and mortality of lung cancer worldwide. However, the role of PM2.5 in the etiology of lung cancer and the mechanism involved in PM2.5 induced lung cancer are largely unknown. In this study, we performed chronic exposure animal model to investigate the carcinogenetic mechanisms of PM2.5 by targeting the induction of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and cancer stem cells (CSC) properties through Notch1 signal pathway. The antagonism of Notch1 signal pathway was carried out in vitro cell lines of A549 and BEAS-2B to block EMT and CSC. We found that chronic PM2.5 exposure mice lung tissue pathology showed atypical hyperplasia of bronchiolar epithelium. Then, we discovered that chronic PM2.5 exposure induced notable EMT event and obvious CSC properties indicating the developing process of cell malignant behaviors. EMT characterized with decreased protein expression of E-cadherin and increased protein expression of Vimentin. CSC properties induced by chronic PM2.5 exposure characterized with increased cell-surface markers (ABCG2 and ALDH1A1) and self-renewal genes (SOX2 and OCT4). Furthermore, PM2.5 exposure activate Notch signal pathway by increasing expression of Notch1 and Hes1. At last, we blocked Notch signal pathway by inhibitor RO4929097 in vitro to explore the underlying mechanism mediating PM2.5 induced EMT and CSC. We found that blocking Notch1 could prevent PM2.5 induced malignant behaviors including EMT and CSC in A549 and BEAS-2B. These data revealed that the induction of EMT and CSC properties were involved in the lung cancer risk of PM2.5 in vivo, and blocking-up Notch1 may negatively regulate EMT and CSC to suppress the invasion and migration in vitro, thereby putatively serving as a novel therapeutic target for PM2.5 induced lung cancer.

Kubatka P, Uramova S, Kello M, et al.
Anticancer Activities of
Int J Mol Sci. 2019; 20(7) [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2020 Related Publications
Naturally-occurring mixtures of phytochemicals present in plant foods are proposed to possess tumor-suppressive activities. In this work, we aimed to evaluate the antitumor effects of

Wang HF, Wang SS, Zheng M, et al.
Hypoxia promotes vasculogenic mimicry formation by vascular endothelial growth factor A mediating epithelial-mesenchymal transition in salivary adenoid cystic carcinoma.
Cell Prolif. 2019; 52(3):e12600 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: To investigate the role of hypoxia in vasculogenic mimicry (VM) of salivary adenoid cystic carcinoma (SACC) and the underlying mechanism involved.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Firstly, wound healing, transwell invasion, immunofluorescence and tube formation assays were performed to measure the effect of hypoxia on migration, invasion, EMT and VM of SACC cells, respectively. Then, immunofluorescence and RT-PCR were used to detect the effect of hypoxia on VE-cadherin and VEGFA expression. And pro-vasculogenic mimicry effect of VEGFA was investigated by confocal laser scanning microscopy and Western blot. Moreover, the levels of E-cadherin, N-cadherin, Vimentin, CD44 and ALDH1 were determined by Western blot and immunofluorescence in SACC cells treated by exogenous VEGFA or bevacizumab. Finally, CD31/ PAS staining was performed to observe VM and immunohistochemistry was used to determine the levels of VEGFA and HIF-1α in 95 SACC patients. The relationships between VM and clinicopathological variables, VEGFA or HIF-1α level were analysed.
RESULTS: Hypoxia promoted cell migration, invasion, EMT and VM formation, and enhanced VE-cadherin and VEGFA expression in SACC cells. Further, exogenous VEGFA markedly increased the levels of N-cadherin, Vimentin, CD44 and ALDH1, and inhibited the expression of E-cadherin, while the VEGFA inhibitor reversed these changes. In addition, VM channels existed in 25 of 95 SACC samples, and there was a strong positive correlation between VM and clinic stage, distant metastases, VEGFA and HIF-1α expression.
CONCLUSIONS: VEGFA played an important role in hypoxia-induced VM through regulating EMT and stemness, which may eventually fuel the migration and invasion of SACC.

Koh YW, Han JH, Haam S, Jung J
ALDH1 expression correlates with an epithelial-like phenotype and favorable prognosis in lung adenocarcinoma: a study based on immunohistochemistry and mRNA expression data.
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2019; 145(6):1427-1436 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Cancer stem cells (CSC) and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) pathways are crucial for cancer progression. However, synergistic interactions between CSC and EMT are not clear in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The objective of this study was to investigate CSC markers such as CD44, NANOG, and ALDH1 expression and its correlation with EMT markers in NSCLC patients. Its association with survival was also determined.
METHODS: CD44, NANOG, and ALDH1 protein expression was evaluated in 267 resected NSCLC and its correlation with e-cadherin, β-catenin, p120 catenin, vimentin, SNAIL, and TWIST expressions was determined based on immunohistochemical and mRNA expression data from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database. Survival analyses also were performed based on immunohistochemistry and mRNA expression data from Gene Expression Omnibus dataset.
RESULTS: ALDH1 expression in lung adenocarcinoma was positively correlated with the epithelial-like phenotype, low vimentin and low TWIST in immunohistochemical and mRNA expression data. NANOG and ALDH1 expressions measured by immunohistochemical and mRNA expression profiling data of adenocarcinomas were associated with a favorable prognosis. ALDH1 was an independent favorable prognostic marker for overall survival or recurrence-free survival in adenocarcinoma (P = 0.026 and P = 0.033, respectively). The epithelial-like phenotype expressing P120-catenin and beta-catenin was associated with a favorable prognosis; however, the TWIST-expressing mesenchymal-like phenotype was correlated with an unfavorable prognosis.
CONCLUSIONS: NANOG and ALDH1 protein or mRNA expression showed improved prognosis in adenocarcinoma alone. ALDH1 expression correlated with an epithelial-like phenotype.

Zhang L, Chen Y, Li C, et al.
RNA binding protein PUM2 promotes the stemness of breast cancer cells via competitively binding to neuropilin-1 (NRP-1) mRNA with miR-376a.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2019; 114:108772 [PubMed] Related Publications
Others and ours studies have established the promoting roles of NRP-1 (neuropilin-1) in breast cancer, however, the underlying mechanisms by which NRP-1 is regulated are still confused. Here, bioinformatics analysis indicated that RNA binding protein PUM2 could bind to NRP-1 mRNA. Clinical samples showed that PUM2 expression was significantly increased in breast cancer tissues, negatively correlated with the overall survival and relapse-free survival of breast cancer patients, and positively correlated with NRP-1 expression. Meanwhile, PUM2 expression was remarkably increased in non-adherent spheroids. in vitro experiments demonstrated that PUM2 knockdown attenuated the stemness of breast cancer cells, evident by the decrease of spheroid formation capacity, ALDH1 activity and stemness marker expression. Mechanistically, RNA immunoprecipitation (RIP) and luciferase reporter analysis indicated that PUM2 competitively bound to NRP 3'UTR with miR-376a, which had been previously confirmed by us to suppress the stemness of breast cancer cells, and increased NRP-1 mRNA stability and expression. Furthermore, ectopic expression of NRP-1 or miR-376a knockdown rescued the inhibitory effects of NRP-1 knockdown on the stemness of breast cancer cells. Thus, our results suggest that PUM2 could facilitate the stemness of breast cancer cells by competitively binding to NRP-1 3'UTR with miR-376a.

Tahara S, Nojima S, Ohshima K, et al.
Serum deprivation-response protein regulates aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 through integrin-linked kinase signaling in endometrioid carcinoma cells.
Cancer Sci. 2019; 110(5):1804-1813 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2020 Related Publications
Endometrioid carcinoma (EC) is one of the most common malignancies of the female genital system. We reported previously that aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 (ALDH1), a predominant isoform of the ALDH family in mammals and a potential marker of normal and malignant stem cells, is related to the tumorigenic potential of EC. We compared the levels of various proteins in human EC cells with high and low ALDH1 expression using shotgun proteomics and found that serum deprivation-response protein (SDPR) was preferentially expressed in cells with high ALDH1 expression. Also known as cavin-2, SDPR is a member of the cavin protein family, which is required for the formation of caveolae. Using SDPR-knockout EC cells generated using the CRISPR/Cas9 system, we revealed that SDPR was correlated with invasion, migration, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, and colony formation, as well as the expression of ALDH1. RNA sequencing showed that integrin-linked kinase (ILK) signaling is involved in the effect of SDPR on ALDH1. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed that the localization of ILK at the cell cortex was disrupted by SDPR knockout, potentially interfering with ILK signaling. Moreover, immunohistochemical analysis of clinical samples showed that SDPR is related to histological characteristics associated with invasiveness, such as poor differentiation, lymphatic invasion, and the microcystic, elongated, and fragmented histopathological pattern. This is, to our knowledge, the first report that SDPR is related to tumor progression.

Afshar E, Hashemi-Arabi M, Salami S, et al.
Screening of acetaminophen-induced alterations in epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition-related expression of microRNAs in a model of stem-like triple-negative breast cancer cells: The possible functional impacts.
Gene. 2019; 702:46-55 [PubMed] Related Publications
Current protocols for therapy inefficiently targets triple negative breast cancer and barely eradicate cancer stem cells. Elucidation of the pleiotropic effect of clinically proven therapeutics on cancer cells shed light on novel application of old friends. The pleiotropic effect of acetaminophen (APAP) on breast cancer was previously reported. In a cell model of triple negative breast cancer with stem-like CD44

Wazir U, Orakzai MMAW, Martin TA, et al.
Correlation of
Cancer Genomics Proteomics. 2019 Mar-Apr; 16(2):121-127 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2020 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) has a well-known role in carcinogenesis due to its functions in inducing cell immortality and preventing senescence. In this study, the relationships between TERT and a panel of known stem cell markers was examined in order to direct future enquiries into the role of 'stem-ness' in human breast cancer.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Breast cancer tissues (n=124) and adjacent normal tissues (n=30) underwent reverse transcription and quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Transcript levels were analyzed for the correlation with that of TERT.
RESULTS: A significant direct correlation was found in cancerous tissue between TERT and BMI1 proto-oncogene polycomb ring finger 4 (BMI1; n=88, p<0.001), nestin (NES; n=88, p<0.001), POU domain, class 5, transcription factor 1 (POU5F1; n=88, p<0.001), aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 family member A2 (ALDH1A2; n=87, p=0.0298), cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1A (CDKN1A; n=88, p<0.001), integrin subunit beta 1 (ITGNB1; n=88, p<0.001), integrin subunit alpha 6 (ITGA6; n=88, p<0.001), cluster of differentiation antigen 24 (CD24; n=88, p=0.0114), MET proto-oncogene (MET; n=78, p<0.001) and noggin (NOG; n=88, p<0.001).
CONCLUSION: The evidence presented in this article of possible interactions between TERT and a discrete subset of known stem cell markers would significantly contribute to further enquiries regarding clonal dynamics in the context of human breast cancer.

Pereira CV, Duarte M, Silva P, et al.
Polymethoxylated Flavones Target Cancer Stemness and Improve the Antiproliferative Effect of 5-Fluorouracil in a 3D Cell Model of Colorectal Cancer.
Nutrients. 2019; 11(2) [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2020 Related Publications
Polymethoxylated flavones (PMFs) from citrus fruits are reported to present anticancer potential. However, there is a lack of information regarding their effect on cancer stem cell (CSC) populations, which has been recognized as responsible for tumor initiation, relapse, and chemoresistance. In this study, we evaluated the effect of an orange peel extract (OPE) and its main PMFs, namely, nobiletin, sinensetin, tangeretin, and scutellarein tetramethylether in targeting cell proliferation and stemness using a 3D cell model of colorectal cancer composed of HT29 cell spheroids cultured for 7 days in stirred conditions. Soft agar assay, ALDH1 activity, and relative quantitative gene expression analysis of specific biomarkers were carried out to characterize the stemness, self-renewal, and mesenchymal features of HT29 cell spheroids. Then, the impact of OPE and PMFs in reducing cell proliferation and modulating cancer stemness and self-renewal was assessed. Results showed that, when compared with monolayer cultures, HT29 cell spheroids presented higher ALDH1 activity (81.97% ± 5.27% compared to 63.55% ± 17.49% for 2D), upregulation of

Wu CC, Xiao Y, Li H, et al.
Overexpression of FAM3C is associated with poor prognosis in oral squamous cell carcinoma.
Pathol Res Pract. 2019; 215(4):772-778 [PubMed] Related Publications
Expression of the family with sequence similarity 3 member C (FAM3C) is necessary for the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). However, the expression level and clinicopathological significance of FAM3C in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) has not been thoroughly elucidated to date. We performed immunohistochemical staining on human OSCC specimens with FAM3C, co-inhibitory immune checkpoints, EMT markers, and cancer stem cells (CSCs) markers to analyze the expression levels and clinicopathological features of FAM3C in OSCC. There were 210 primary OSCC specimens, 69 oral epithelial dysplasia and 42 normal oral mucosae in our human OSCC tissue microarrays cohort. We observed that FAM3C expression was upregulated in OSCC compared with normal mucosa and epithelial dysplasia (P <  0.001). Moreover, patients with higher FAM3C expression levels had a worse prognosis than those with lower expression levels (P < 0.05). Also, FAM3C expression was positively correlated with the immune checkpoints PD-L1, VISTA, and B7-H4, the EMT marker Slug and the CSC markers SOX2 and ALDH1. In conclusion, these findings suggested that overexpression of FAM3C in human OSCC may predict a poor prognosis for OSCC patients.

Handa T, Katayama A, Yokobori T, et al.
Carboxypeptidase A4 accumulation is associated with an aggressive phenotype and poor prognosis in triple-negative breast cancer.
Int J Oncol. 2019; 54(3):833-844 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2020 Related Publications
Using whole transcriptome analysis and a lentiviral short hairpin RNA screening library, carboxypeptidase A4 (CPA4) was identified as a novel marker in breast cancer and a therapeutic target in triple‑negative breast cancer (TNBC) in the present study. Immunohistochemistry was used to evaluate the presence of CPA4, estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2, Ki67, epidermal growth factor receptor, cytokeratin 5/6, aldehyde dehydrogenase 1, cluster of differentiation (CD)44, CD24, claudins, E‑cadherin, vimentin and androgen receptor in 221 cases of breast cancer, including 68 TNBC cases. The effects of CPA4 on the viability and migration ability of TNBC cells were analyzed using RNA interference methods. Increased CPA4 expression, specifically in the cytoplasm of cancer tissue cells, was detected. Furthermore, high CPA4 expression in TNBC cases was associated with low expression of E‑cadherin and with the expression of cancer stem cell markers (high CD44/low CD24). Patients with TNBC and high levels of CPA4 expression had a significantly poorer prognosis compared with those with low CPA4 expression. Notably, viability and migration were reduced, but E‑cadherin expression was upregulated in CPA4‑suppressed TNBC cells. The present data suggested that CPA4 may be a novel inducer for epithelial‑mesenchymal transition, which is characterized by the downregulation of E‑cadherin and mesenchymal phenotypes. To conclude, CPA4 may be a marker for poor prognosis and a promising therapeutic target in TNBC with aggressive phenotypes.

Liu M, Sun X, Shi S
MORC2 Enhances Tumor Growth by Promoting Angiogenesis and Tumor-Associated Macrophage Recruitment via Wnt/β-Catenin in Lung Cancer.
Cell Physiol Biochem. 2018; 51(4):1679-1694 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIMS: In this study, we aimed to investigate how MORC family CW-type zinc finger 2 (MORC2) affects tumor progression of lung cancer.
METHODS: The MORC2 level was analyzed by real-time RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry (IHC) in normal control tissues and lung cancers. LL/2 cells overexpressing MORC2 were used to study how MORC2 expression influences lung cancer progression. The effects of MORC2 on cell viability, migration and invasion were assessed by MTT assay, Western blotting, and transwell assays, respectively. Afterwards, the effects of MORC2 on the activation of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway were explored by Western blotting. The effects of MORC2 on tumor-associated macrophages (TAM) were determined by immunofluorescence (IF) staining, real-time RT-PCR and Western blotting.
RESULTS: Our results showed that MORC2 was upregulated in lung cancers relative to adjacent tissues. The results also demonstrated that MORC2 promoted lung cancer tumor growth in vivo. Additionally, MORC2 overexpression stimulated the upregulation of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), driving angiogenesis. MORC2 overexpression in LL/2 also increased the amount of aldehyde dehydrogenase-1 (ALDH1) protein, indicating that MORC2 increased cancer stem cell features. We further determined that MORC2 activated Wnt/β-catenin signaling in lung cancer cells. Upregulation of macrophage-recruiting genes including VEGF and Macrophage-specific colony stimulating factor (CSF-1) recruits TAMs to the tumor site, which has the net effect of promoting additional tumor growth and metastasis.
CONCLUSION: Our data suggest that MORC2 overexpression can drive lung cancer growth by stimulating the recruitment of TAMs in addition to angiogenesis and that activation of Wnt/β-signaling may be a key pathway underlying this phenotype that is amenable to pharmacological intervention.

Tian S, Liu DH, Wang D, et al.
Aldehyde Dehydrogenase 1 (ALDH1) Promotes the Toxicity of TRAIL in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Cells via Post-Transcriptional Regulation of MEK-1 Expression.
Cell Physiol Biochem. 2018; 51(1):217-227 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIM: Tumor Necrosis Factor-Related Apoptosis Inducing Ligand (TRAIL)-based therapies have been used in many human cancers. However, some tumors are resistant to TRAIL-induced cell death. Aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 (ALDH1) is a functional marker for identification of CSCs.
METHODS: In this study, we used the colony formation assay, AnnexinV/ PI double staining and PI staining to detect proliferation, apoptosis and cell cycle in ALDH1+ non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells with TRAIL treatment. In addition, we established xenograft mouse models to confirm the anti-tumor roles of TRAIL in vivo. Finally, gene array and western blot were used to detect the deeper mechanism of the susceptibility of ALDH1+ NSCLC cells to TRAIL.
RESULTS: We confirmed that TRAIL could inhibit proliferation, and induce apoptosis and G1 arrest in ALDH1+ NSCLC cells. Correspondingly, TRAIL was associated with decreased tumor size and the favorable survival rate of ALDH1+ cells established xenograft mouse models. ALDH1 could increase the death receptors (DR) 4 and DR5 expression in ALDH1+ NSCLC cells via activating MEK/ERK signaling pathway.
CONCLUSION: ALDH1 protein induced MEK-1 mRNA stability and promoted its translation via its 3'UTR.

Yang Y, Bhosle SR, Yu YH, et al.
Tumidulin, a Lichen Secondary Metabolite, Decreases the Stemness Potential of Colorectal Cancer Cells.
Molecules. 2018; 23(11) [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2020 Related Publications
Lichens produce various unique chemicals that are used in the pharmaceutical industry. To screen for novel lichen secondary metabolites that inhibit the stemness potential of colorectal cancer cells, we tested acetone extracts of 11 lichen samples collected in Chile. Tumidulin, isolated from

Takata K, Saito K, Maruyama S, et al.
Identification of TRA-1-60-positive cells as a potent refractory population in follicular lymphomas.
Cancer Sci. 2019; 110(1):443-457 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2020 Related Publications
Despite receiving rituximab-combined chemotherapy, follicular lymphoma (FL) patients often suffer tumor recurrence and understand that the cause of relapse in FL would thus significantly ameliorate the tumor therapeutics. In the present study, we show that TRA-1-60-expressing cells are a unique population in FL, converge to the conventional stem cell marker Oct3/4 and ALDH1-positive population, and resist current B-lymphoma agents. TRA-1-60 expression was observed in scattered lymphoma cells in FL tissues only as well as in resting B-lymphocytes inside germinal centers. Retrospective comparison between recurrent and cognate primary tissues showed that the number of TRA-1-60-positive cells from rituximab, cyclophosphamide, hydroxydaunorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone (R-CHOP)-treated FL had increased relative to primary tissue, a finding corroborated by assays on different rituximab-treated FL cell lines, FL-18 and DOHH2, wherein TRA-positive cell numbers increased over 10-fold compared to the untreated sample. Concordantly, scanty TRA-1-60-positive FL-18 cells implanted s.c. into mice evinced potent tumor-initiating capacity in vivo, where tumors were 12-fold larger in volume (P = 0.0021 < 0.005) and 13-fold heavier in weight (P = 0.0015 < 0.005) compared to those xenografted from TRA-negative cells. To explain these results, gene expression profiling and qPCR analysis indicated that TRA-1-60-positive cells defined a distinct population from that of TRA-negative cells, with upregulation of multiple drug transporters and therapeutic resistance genes. Hence, TRA-1-60-expressing cells in FL are considered to be vigorously intractable against conventional therapeutic agents, which may explain its refractory recurrence.

van der Waals LM, Borel Rinkes IHM, Kranenburg O
ALDH1A1 expression is associated with poor differentiation, 'right-sidedness' and poor survival in human colorectal cancer.
PLoS One. 2018; 13(10):e0205536 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2020 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Aldehyde dehydrogenase 1A1 (ALDH1A1) encodes an enzyme that oxidizes aldehydes to their corresponding carboxylic acids. In colorectal cancer ALDH1A1 marks cancer stem cells and plays putative roles in tumor progression and drug resistance. However, the potential value of ALDH1A1 as a diagnostic marker or target for therapy remains unclear. Here, we have analyzed ALDH1A1 mRNA and protein levels in relation to clinical, histopathological and molecular tumor features in large series of human colorectal cancer.
METHODS: ALDH1A1 protein levels were determined by immunohistochemistry in a series of primary colorectal tumors and their corresponding liver metastases (n = 158). ALDH1A1 mRNA levels were analyzed in several large patient cohorts of colorectal cancer. ALDH1A1 mRNA and protein levels were then related to overall survival and to clinical, histopathological and molecular tumor features.
RESULTS: High levels of ALDH1A1 were associated with a poorly differentiated histology and a right-sided tumor location, but not to a mesenchymal-like molecular subtype. Liver metastases contained significantly higher levels of ALDH1A1 compared to the corresponding primary tumors. Radio- and/or chemotherapy prior to tumor resection was associated with increased ALDH1A1 levels regardless of the molecular subtype. Finally, ALDH1A1 protein expression in primary tumors and metastases correlated with shorter overall survival.
CONCLUSIONS: ALDH1A1 expression is associated with features of poor prognosis, including a poorly differentiated histology and 'right-sidedness' of the primary tumor, and with shorter overall survival. ALDH1A1 is also highly expressed in therapy-surviving tumors and in liver metastases. These results warrant further research into the potential value of targeting ALDH1A1 in order to improve the efficacy of standard treatment and thereby preventing tumor recurrence.

Tian S, Xing YN, Xia P
The prognostic roles of circulating ALDH1
Biosci Rep. 2018; 38(5) [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2020 Related Publications
Circulating tumor cells can provide important diagnostic and prognostic information of the patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 (ALDH1), a cancer stem cell marker, has been used in various tumors, including NSCLC. In the present study, we isolated the circulating ALDH1

Nastały P, Filipska M, Morrissey C, et al.
ALDH1-positive intratumoral stromal cells indicate differentiated epithelial-like phenotype and good prognosis in prostate cancer.
Transl Res. 2019; 203:49-56 [PubMed] Related Publications
Aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 (ALDH1) characterizes tumor-initiating cells in solid tumors; however, little is known about its expression in intratumoral stromal cells. Herein, we aimed to dissect its potential dual relevance in prostate cancer (PCa). ALDH1 expression was evaluated immunohistochemically in tumor and stromal cells in primary PCa and metastases. It was correlated to clinico-pathologic parameters, patients' outcome, and selected proteins (CK5/6, CK14, CK8/18, CK19, EpCAM, Ki-67, E-cadherin, N-cadherin, and vimentin). ALDH1 protein was detected in tumor and stromal cells in 16% and 67% of 348 primary PCa, respectively. Tumor cell ALDH1 expression was associated with advanced T stage (P = 0.009), higher Gleason score (P = 0.016), shorter time to biochemical recurrence (TBR P = 0.010) and CK14 expression (P = 0.023). Stromal cell ALDH1 expression correlated to lower T stage (P = 0.008) and Gleason score (P = 0.016), N0 stage (P = 0.017), and longer TBR (P = 0.017). It occurred to be an independent predictor of good prognosis in the subgroup of d'Amico high-risk patients (multivariate analysis, P = 0.050). ALDH1-positive stromal cells were found in tumors characterized frequently by CK8/18 (P = 0.033) or EpCAM expression (P < 0.001) and rarely by epithelial-mesenchymal transition defined as CK8/18(-)vimentin(+) phenotype (P = 0.003). ALDH1-positive tumor and stromal cells were detected in 33% and 41% of hormone naive lymph node metastases (n = 63), 52% and 24% of castration resistant bone metastases, as well as 89% and 28% of castration resistant visceral metastases (n = 21), respectively. We have determined that contrary to tumor cell ALDH1, the presence of stromal ALDH1 is associated with epithelial phenotype of primary PCa, improved clinical outcome, and is less frequent in PCa metastases.

Ko YS, Jin H, Lee JS, et al.
Radioresistant breast cancer cells exhibit increased resistance to chemotherapy and enhanced invasive properties due to cancer stem cells.
Oncol Rep. 2018; 40(6):3752-3762 [PubMed] Related Publications
Previous studies suggest that cancer stem cells (CSCs) exist in solid tumors, and contribute to therapeutic resistance and disease recurrence. Therefore, the present study aimed to investigate whether radioresistant (RT‑R) breast cancer cells derived from breast cancer cells increase the number of CSCs, and whether these CSCs are responsible to increased invasiveness and therapeutic resistance. MCF‑7, T47D and MDA‑MB‑231 cells were irradiated 25 times (2 Gy each; 50 Gy total) to generate radioresistant breast cancer cells (RT‑R‑MCF‑7, RT‑R‑T47D and RT‑R‑MDA‑MB‑231). RT‑R‑breast cancer cells demonstrated increased cell viability against irradiation and increased colony forming abilities compared with parental breast cancer cells. Particularly, RT‑R‑MDA‑MB‑231 cells derived from highly metastatic MDA‑MB‑231 cells exhibited most radioresistance and chemoresistance of the three cell lines. In addition, MDA‑MB‑231 cells exhibited the most increased protein levels of CSCs markers cluster of differentiation 44, Notch‑4, octamer‑binding transcription factor 3/4 and aldehyde dehydrogenase 1, compared with RT‑R‑MCF‑7 cells, suggesting highly metastatic breast cancer cells MDA‑MB‑231 produce more CSCs. RT‑R‑MDA‑MB‑231 cells increased intercellular adhesion molecule‑1 and vascular cell adhesion molecule‑1 levels, resulting in enhanced migration and adhesion to endothelial cells (ECs), and enhanced invasiveness through ECs by inducing matrix metalloproteinase‑9, Snail‑1 and β‑catenin, and by downregulating E‑cadherin compared with MDA‑MB‑231 cells. These results suggest that highly metastatic breast cancer cells may increase the number of CSCs following radiation therapy, and CSCs present in RT‑R‑MDA‑MB‑231 cells contribute to the enhanced invasiveness by increasing migration, adhesion to ECs and invasion through ECs by promoting epithelial‑mesenchymal transition (EMT) via the upregulation of adhesion molecules and EMT‑associated proteins.

Omari A, Nastały P, Stoupiec S, et al.
Somatic aberrations of BRCA1 gene are associated with ALDH1, EGFR, and tumor progression in prostate cancer.
Int J Cancer. 2019; 144(3):607-614 [PubMed] Related Publications
BRCA1 is a pivotal tumor suppressor. Its dysfunction is known to play a role in different tumors. Among others, BRCA1 germline mutations account for higher risk and more aggressive course of prostate cancer (PCa). In addition, somatic BRCA1 gene loss was demonstrated to be a signature of PCa dissemination to lymph nodes and peripheral blood, and indicate worse clinical outcome. In order to substantiate the data for BRCA1 gene loss in PCa and reveal its phenotypical background, BRCA1 gene status was assessed in a large cohort of PCa patients and compared to different molecular factors. BRCA1 gene dosage was assessed in 2398 tumor samples from 1,199 PCa patients using fluorescent in situ hybridization. It was compared to clinico-pathological parameters, patients' outcome as well as selected proteins (Ki-67, apoptosis marker, cytokeratins, vimentin, E- and N-cadherin, ALDH1 and EGFR) examined immunohistochemically. BRCA1 losses were found in 10%, whereas gains appeared in 7% of 603 informative PCa patients. BRCA1 losses correlated to higher T stage (p = 0.027), Gleason score (p = 0.039), shorter time to biochemical recurrence in patients with Gleason score > 7 independently of other factors (multivariate analysis, p = 0.005) as well as expression of proteins regulating stemness and epithelial-mesenchymal transition, that is, ALDH1 (p = 0.021) and EGFR (p = 0.011), respectively. BRCA1 gains correlated to shorter time to metastasis (p = 0.012) and expression of ALDH1 (p = 0.014). These results support the assumption that BRCA1 gene losses contribute to a progressive and stem cell-like phenotype of PCa. Furthermore, they reveal that also BRCA1 gain conceivably representing loss-of-function might mark more invasive tumors.

Chen T, Chen J, Zhu Y, et al.
CD163, a novel therapeutic target, regulates the proliferation and stemness of glioma cells via casein kinase 2.
Oncogene. 2019; 38(8):1183-1199 [PubMed] Related Publications
Glioma is a devastating cancer with a dismal prognosis and there is an urgent need to discover novel glioma-specific antigens for glioma therapy. Previous studies have identified CD163-positive tumour cells in certain solid tumours, but CD163 expression in glioma remains unknown. In this study, via an analysis of public datasets, we demonstrated that CD163 overexpression in glioma specimens correlated with an unfavourable patient prognosis. CD163 expression was increased in glioma cells, especially primary glioma cells. The loss of CD163 expression inhibited both cell cycle progression and the proliferation of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) cell lines and primary glioma cells. CD163 interacted directly with casein kinase 2 (CK2) and CD163 silencing reduced AKT/GSK3β/β-catenin/cyclin D1 pathway activity via CK2. Moreover, CD163 was upregulated in CD133-positive glioma stem cells (GSCs), and CD163 downregulation decreased the expression of GSC markers, including CD133, ALDH1A1, NANOG and OCT4. The knockdown of CD163 impaired GSC stemness by inhibiting the CK2/AKT/GSK3β/β-catenin pathway. Finally, a CD163 antibody successfully induced complement-dependent cytotoxicity against glioma cells. Our findings indicate that CD163 contributes to gliomagenesis via CK2 and provides preclinical evidence that CD163 and the CD163 pathway might serve as a therapeutic target for glioma.

Arima K, Ohmuraya M, Miyake K, et al.
Inhibition of 15-PGDH causes Kras-driven tumor expansion through prostaglandin E2-ALDH1 signaling in the pancreas.
Oncogene. 2019; 38(8):1211-1224 [PubMed] Related Publications
The accumulation of prostaglandin E2 (PGE

Bahnassy AA, Saber MM, Mahmoud MG, et al.
The role of circulating tumor cells in metastatic breast cancer: prognostic and predictive value.
Mol Biol Rep. 2018; 45(6):2025-2035 [PubMed] Related Publications
The aim of the current study was to assess the prognostic value of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and their related markers at different points of chemotherapy regimens in metastatic breast cancer (MBC) patients. The impact of CTCs on progression free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) rates were also assessed. Peripheral blood samples were obtained from 66 female patients with MBC at different time intervals for evaluation of CTCs by flow cytometry (FC). cytokeratin 19 (CK19), mammaglobin, prolactin inducible peptide (PIP), aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 (ALDH1) and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) were also assessed by qRT-PCR. Analysis of different CTC levels (at 4, 5, and 6 cells/7 ml), showed statistically significant values at 4 cells/7 ml blood. The presence of baseline CTCs < 4 cells/7 ml, associated significantly with higher PFS (P value = 0.03). Patients showing a decrease in the CTCs level after treatment had significantly prolonged median PFS and OS rates compared to those whose CTCs level increased (P = 0.007 and P = 0.014; respectively). Mammaglobin, CK19, PIP, ALDH1 and hCG expression did not affect PFS or OS. However, patients with CTCs ≥ 4 at diagnosis had higher rates of progression compared to those with CTCs < 4 (1.9 times, P = 0.07), and who metastasized before 4 years showed a worse decrease outcomes (they were 2.4 time more progressed than those who metastasized after 4 years; P = 0.029). CTCs could be an independent prognostic and predictive biomarker for MBC patients' outcomes. Although none of the assessed genes (mammaglobin, CK19, PIP, ALDH1 and hCG) showed correlation with PFS or OS rates, further studies on a larger number of patients are required to validate the current results.

Fu HC, Chuang IC, Yang YC, et al.
Low P16
Int J Mol Sci. 2018; 19(9) [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2020 Related Publications
Previous studies have suggested that cancer stem cells (CSCs) resisted radiotherapy and chemotherapy. P16

Fu Z, Cao X, Yang Y, et al.
Upregulation of FoxM1 by MnSOD Overexpression Contributes to Cancer Stem-Like Cell Characteristics in the Lung Cancer H460 Cell Line.
Technol Cancer Res Treat. 2018; 17:1533033818789635 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2020 Related Publications
Manganese superoxide dismutase promotes migration and invasion in lung cancer cells via upregulation of the transcription factor forkhead box M1. Here, we assessed whether upregulation of forkhead box M1 by manganese superoxide dismutase overexpression mediates the acquisition of cancer stem-like cell characteristics in non-small cell lung cancer H460 cells. The second-generation spheroids from H460 cells were used as lung cancer stem-like cells. The levels of manganese superoxide dismutase, forkhead box M1, stemness markers (CD133, CD44, and ALDH1), and transcription factors (Bmi1, Nanog, and Sox2) were analyzed by Western blot. Sphere formation in vitro and carcinogenicity of lung cancer stem-like cells were evaluated by spheroid formation assay and limited dilution xenograft assays. Knockdown or overexpression of manganese superoxide dismutase or/and forkhead box M1 by transduction with short hairpin RNA(shRNA) or complementary DNA were performed for mechanistic studies. We showed that manganese superoxide dismutase and forkhead box M1 amounts as well as the expression levels of stemness markers and transcription factors sphere formation in vitro, and carcinogenicity of lung cancer stem-like cells were higher than in monolayer cells. Lung cancer stem-like cells transduced with manganese superoxide dismutase shRNA or FoxM1 shRNA exhibited decreased sphere formation and lower amounts of stemness markers and transcription factors. Overexpression of manganese superoxide dismutase or FoxM1 in H460 cells resulted in elevated sphere formation rates and protein levels of stemness markers and transcription factors. Meanwhile, manganese superoxide dismutase knockdown or overexpression accordingly altered forkhead box M1 levels. However, forkhead box M1 knockdown or overexpression had no effect on manganese superoxide dismutase levels but inhibited or promoted lung cancer stem-like cell functions. Interestingly, forkhead box M1 overexpression alleviated the inhibitory effects of manganese superoxide dismutase knockdown in lung cancer stem-like cells. In a panel of non-small cell lung cancer cells, including H441, H1299, and H358 cells, compared to the respective monolayer counterparts, the expression levels of manganese superoxide dismutase and forkhead box M1 were elevated in the corresponding spheroids. These findings revealed the role of forkhead box M1 upregulation by manganese superoxide dismutase overexpression in maintaining lung cancer stem-like cell properties. Therefore, inhibition of forkhead box M1 upregulation by manganese superoxide dismutase overexpression may represent an effective therapeutic strategy for non-small cell lung cancer.

Troschel FM, Böhly N, Borrmann K, et al.
miR-142-3p attenuates breast cancer stem cell characteristics and decreases radioresistance in vitro.
Tumour Biol. 2018; 40(8):1010428318791887 [PubMed] Related Publications
Effectively targeting cancer stem cells, a subpopulation of tumorigenic, aggressive, and radioresistant cells, holds therapeutic promise. However, the effects of the microRNA miR-142-3p, a small endogenous regulator of gene expression on breast cancer stem cells, have not been investigated. This study identifies the influence of miR-142-3p on mammary stemness properties and breast cancer radioresistance to establish its role in this setting. miR-142-3p precursor transfection was performed in MDA-MB-468, HCC1806, and MCF-7 cells, and stem cell markers CD44, CD133, ALDH1 activity and mammosphere formation were measured. β-catenin, the canonical wnt signaling effector protein, was quantified by Western blots and cell fluorescence assays both in miR-142-3p-overexpressing and anti-miR-142-3p-treated cells. Radiation response was investigated by colony formation assays. Levels of BRCA1, BRCA2, and Bod1 in miR-142-3p-overexpressing cells as well as expression of miR-142-3p, Bod1, KLF4, and Oct4 in sorted CD44

Shi L, Tang X, Qian M, et al.
A SIRT1-centered circuitry regulates breast cancer stemness and metastasis.
Oncogene. 2018; 37(49):6299-6315 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2020 Related Publications
Cancer stem cell (CSC)-dictated intratumor heterogeneity accounts for the majority of drug-resistance and distant metastases of breast cancers. Here, we identify a SIRT1-PRRX1-KLF4-ALDH1 circuitry, which couples CSCs, chemo-resistance, metastasis and aging. Pro-longevity protein SIRT1 deacetylates and stabilizes the epithelial-to-mesenchymal-transition (EMT) inducer PRRX1, which inhibits the transcription of core stemness factor KLF4. Loss of SIRT1 destabilizes PRRX1, disinhibits KLF4, and activates the transcription of ALDH1, which induces and functionally marks CSCs, resulting in chemo-resistance and metastatic relapse. Clinically, the level of PRRX1 is positively linked to SIRT1, whereas KLF4 is reversely correlated. Importantly, KLF4 inhibitor Kenpaullone sensitizes breast cancer cells and xenograft tumors to Paclitaxel and improves therapeutic effects. Our findings delineate a SIRT1-centered circuitry that regulates CSC origination, and targeting this pathway might be a promising therapeutic strategy.

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