[Aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 can be used as a new marker of cancer stem cells in laryngeal cancer cells in vitro]

Xin Jin, Yan Zhao, Jun Qian, Jie Tang, Xiao-dong Zhan
Zhonghua Zhong Liu za Zhi [Chinese Journal of Oncology] 2011, 33 (12): 900-4

OBJECTIVE: To detect the expression of aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 in human laryngeal cancer cells in vitro, and to explore whether it can be used as a marker of stem cells in human laryngeal cancer.

METHODS: Fluorescence staining and flow cytometry were used to detect the expression of ALDH1 in a human laryngeal cancer Hep-2 cell line, and fluorescence activated cells sorting was used to separate ALDH1(br) cells. ALDH1 tumor cells were cultured and their ability of proliferation and differentiation was observed in vitro.

RESULTS: The expression of ALDH1 in Hep-2 cells was different. The number of cells highly expressing ALDH1 was 2.9% ± 0.6%. Compared with ALDH1(low) cells and unsorted cells, ALDH1(br) cells exhibited increased proliferation ability. In serum-containing RPM I1640 culture medium, the proportion of ALDH1(br) cells was decreasing as days passed. The percentage of ALDH1(br) cells decreased from 94.2% ± 3.8% to the level before sorting. The ALDH1(br) cells demonstrated enhanced tumorigenic ability in nude mice.

CONCLUSIONS: In the laryngeal cancer Hep-2 cell line, the highly ALDH1-expressing cells show a strong ability of differentiation, proliferation and tumorigenesis. It indicates that ALDH1 can be used as a new marker of stem cells of laryngeal cancer cells.

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