The journal of histochemistry and cytochemistry : official journal of the Histochemistry Society

Aldehyde dehydrogenase 3B1 (ALDH3B1): immunohistochemical tissue distribution and cellular-specific localization in normal and cancerous human tissues.

PMID 20729348


Aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) enzymes are critical in the detoxification of endogenous and exogenous aldehydes. Our previous findings indicate that the ALDH3B1 enzyme is expressed in several mouse tissues and is catalytically active toward aldehydes derived from lipid peroxidation, suggesting a potential role against oxidative stress. The aim of this study was to elucidate by immunohistochemistry the tissue, cellular, and subcellular distribution of ALDH3B1 in normal human tissues and in tumors of human lung, colon, breast, and ovary. Our results indicate that ALDH3B1 is expressed in a tissue-specific manner and in a limited number of cell types, including hepatocytes, proximal convoluted tubule cells, cerebellar astrocytes, bronchiole ciliated cells, testis efferent ductule ciliated cells, and histiocytes. ALDH3B1 expression was upregulated in a high percentage of human tumors (lung > breast = ovarian > colon). Increased ALDH3B1 expression in tumor cells may confer a growth advantage or be the result of an induction mechanism mediated by increased oxidative stress. Subcellular localization of ALDH3B1 was predominantly cytosolic in tissues, with the exception of normal human lung and testis, in which localization appeared membrane-bound or membrane-associated. The specificity of ALDH3B1 distribution may prove to be directly related to the functional role of this enzyme in human tissues.