Telephone: 604-675-8122; Fax: 604-877-0712
Brief Report: Tissue-Specific Stem Cells
Article first published online: 18 JAN 2012
Copyright © 2011 AlphaMed Press
Volume 30, Issue 2, pages 344–348, February 2012
How to Cite
Eirew, P., Kannan, N., Knapp, D. J.H.F., Vaillant, F., Emerman, J. T., Lindeman, G. J., Visvader, J. E. and Eaves, C. J. (2012), Aldehyde Dehydrogenase Activity Is a Biomarker of Primitive Normal Human Mammary Luminal Cells. STEM CELLS, 30: 344–348. doi: 10.1002/stem.1001
Author contributions: P.E.: conception and design, collection of data, data analysis and interpretation, and manuscript writing; N.K. and F.V.: collection of data and data analysis and interpretation; D.J.H.F.K.: data analysis and interpretation; G.J.L. and J.E.V.: conception and design and manuscript writing; J.T.E.: provision of study material; C.J.E.: conception and design, data analysis and interpretation, manuscript writing, and final approval of manuscript.
Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest is found at the end of this article.
First published online in STEM CELLSEXPRESS November 30, 2011.
- Issue published online: 18 JAN 2012
- Article first published online: 18 JAN 2012
- Accepted manuscript online: 30 NOV 2011 01:45PM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 11 NOV 2011
- Manuscript Received: 16 AUG 2011
- Canadian Breast Cancer Research Alliance. Grant Number: CBCRA 019343
- U.S. Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program
- Predoctoral Fellowship. Grant Number: W81XWH-06-1-0702
- Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation BC/Yukon (Fellowship
- National Health and Medical Research Council (Australia. Grant Numbers: #461224, #461221)
- Victorian Government through the Victorian Cancer Agency/Victorian Breast Cancer Research Consortium and an Operational Infrastructure
- Australian Cancer Research Foundation
- Tissue-specific stem cells;
- Clonal assays;
- Progenitor cells;
- Breast cancer
Elevated aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) expression/activity has been identified as an important biomarker of primitive cells in various normal and malignant human tissues. Here we examined the level and type of ALDH expression and activity in different subsets of phenotypically and functionally defined normal human mammary cells. We find that the most primitive human mammary stem and progenitor cell types with bilineage differentiation potential show low ALDH activity but undergo a marked, selective, and transient upregulation of ALDH activity at the point of commitment to the luminal lineage. This mirrors a corresponding change in transcripts and protein levels of ALDH1A3, an enzyme involved in retinoic acid synthesis and the most highly expressed ALDH gene in normal human mammary tissue. In contrast, ALDH1A1 is expressed at low levels in all mammary epithelial cells. These findings raise interesting questions about the reported association of ALDH activity with breast cancer stem cells and breast cancer prognosis. STEM CELLS 2012; 30:344–348.