IMR Press / FBS / Volume 14 / Issue 1 / DOI: 10.31083/j.fbs1401008
Open Access Review
Aldehyde Dehydrogenase Enzyme Functions in Acute Leukemia Stem Cells
Show Less
1 Department of Computer Science, Eastern Connecticut State University, Willimantic, CT 06226, USA
2 Cancer Immunology & Immunotherapy Center, Saint Savas Cancer Hospital, 11522 Athens, Greece
3 First Department of Pediatrics, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, 11527 Goudi-Athens, Greece
*Correspondence: (Spiros Vlahopoulos)
Academic Editor: Bela Ozsvari
Front. Biosci. (Schol Ed) 2022, 14(1), 8;
Submitted: 28 December 2021 | Revised: 23 February 2022 | Accepted: 25 February 2022 | Published: 8 March 2022
Copyright: © 2022 The Author(s). Published by IMR Press.
This is an open access article under the CC BY 4.0 license.

The enzymes that belong to the aldehyde dehydrogenase family are expressed in a variety of cells; yet activity of their main members characterizes stem cells, both normal and malignant. Several members of this family perform critical functions in stem cells, in general, and a few have been shown to have key roles in malignant tumors and their recurrence. In particular, ALDH1A1, which localizes to the cytosol and the nucleus, is an enzyme critical in cancer stem cells. In acute myeloid leukemia (AML), ALDH1A1 protects leukemia-initiating cells from a number of antineoplastic agents, and proves vital for the establishment of human AML xenografts in mice. ALDH2, which is located in mitochondria, has a major role in alcohol metabolism by clearing ethanol-derived acetaldehyde. Haematopoietic stem cells require ALDH2 for protection against acetaldehyde, which can cause damage to DNA, leading to insertions, deletions, chromosomal rearrangements, and translocations. Mutations compromise stem cell function, and thereby threaten blood homeostasis. We review here the potential of targeting the enzymatic activity of aldehyde dehydrogenases in acute leukemia.

aldehyde dehydrogenase
drug resistance
neoplastic stem cells
gene expression
Fig. 1.
Back to top