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Archives of Medical Science
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vol. 16
Letter to the Editor

Spectrum of ALDH1 mRNA in smokers and non-smokers with adenocarcinoma or squamous cell lung carcinoma

Da-Hua Liu
Fei-Fei Mou
Fu Ren
Pu Xia
1, 3

Biological Anthropology Institute, Liaoning Medical University, Jinzhou, Liaoning, China
Shijiazhuang Medical College, Shijiazhuang, Hebei, China
Department of Cell Biology, College of Basic Medical Science, Liaoning Medical University, Jinzhou, Liaoning, China
Arch Med Sci 2020; 16 (3): 709–713
Online publish date: 2019/01/16
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Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide [1]. Non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) includes two main types: lung squamous cell carcinoma (LUSC) and lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD) [2]. Although many factors can affect the occurrence and development of lung cancer [3, 4], we all know the basic fact that smoking causes lung cancer. A comprehensive molecular profile is needed to elucidate tumorigenesis of smokers and non-smokers with lung cancer.
The ALDH1 family of enzymes (namely ALDH1A1, ALDH1A2 and ALDH1A3) is a cytosolic detoxifying enzyme responsible for the oxidation of (retin)aldehydes into retinoids [5]. It has been widely used to isolate cancer stem cells [6]. ALDH1 is involved in cell proliferation, differentiation, and drug resistance [7]. Ginestier et al. [8] found that ALDH1A1 expression detected by immunostaining correlated with poorer breast cancer patient prognosis. However, Neumeister et al. [9] found that ALDH1A1 expression alone does not significantly predict the therapeutic outcome of breast cancer patients. So, it is hard for a single study to assess the robustness of the relationship between ALDH1A1 expression and the clinicopathologic parameters of cancer patients. The objective of this project is to explore the impact of tobacco consumption and histology type on ALDH1 expression.

Material and methods

Oncomine database analysis

The mRNA levels of ALDH1A1, ALDH1A2 and ALDH1A3 in lung cancer tissues were compared with their matched normal tissues by using TCGA datasets in the Oncomine database (http://www.oncomine.org). The threshold used to obtain the most significant probes of the queried gene for each microarray data included a two-fold difference in expression between cancers and normal tissues with a p-value < 1 × 10–4.

Kaplan-Meier plotter analysis

The prognostic value of ALDH1A1, ALDH1A2 and ALDH1A3 in lung cancer was analyzed using the Kaplan-Meier (KM) plotter (http://kmplot.com/analysis/). Overall survival of patients with high and low levels of ALDH1A1, ALDH1A2 and ALDH1A3 was shown using a Kaplan-Meier survival plot.


ALDH1A1, ALDH1A2 and ALDH1A3 in LUSC and LUAD tissues

Based on the Oncomine analysis of cancer vs. normal tissue, we found that ALDH1A1 mRNA was significantly higher in the LUSC tissues of smokers than that in non-smokers (Figure 1). ALDH1A3 mRNA was significantly lower in the...

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