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1.  Characterization of the molecular mechanisms underlying increased ischemic damage in the aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 genetic polymorphism using a human induced pluripotent stem cell model system 
Science translational medicine  2014;6(255):255ra130.
Nearly 8% of the human population carries an inactivating point mutation in the gene that encodes the cardioprotective enzyme aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2). This genetic polymorphism (ALDH2*2) is linked to more severe outcomes from ischemic heart damage and an increased risk of coronary artery disease (CAD), but the underlying molecular bases are unknown. We investigated the ALDH2*2 mechanisms in a human model system of induced pluripotent stem cell–derived cardiomyocytes (iPSC-CMs) generated from individuals carrying the most common heterozygous form of the ALDH2*2 genotype. We showed that the ALDH2*2 mutation gave rise to elevated amounts of reactive oxygen species and toxic aldehydes, thereby inducing cell cycle arrest and activation of apoptotic signaling pathways, especially during ischemic injury. We established that ALDH2 controls cell survival decisions by modulating oxidative stress levels and that this regulatory circuitry was dysfunctional in the loss-of-function ALDH2*2 genotype, causing up-regulation of apoptosis in cardiomyocytes after ischemic insult. These results reveal a new function for the metabolic enzyme ALDH2 in modulation of cell survival decisions. Insight into the molecular mechanisms that mediate ALDH2*2-related increased ischemic damage is important for the development of specific diagnostic methods and improved risk management of CAD and may lead to patient-specific cardiac therapies.
doi:10.1126/scitranslmed.3009027
PMCID: PMC4215699  PMID: 25253673
2.  ALDH2 in Alcoholic Heart Diseases: Molecular Mechanism and Clinical Implications 
Pharmacology & therapeutics  2011;132(1):86-95.
Alcoholic cardiomyopathy is manifested as cardiac hypertrophy, disrupted contractile function and myofibrillary architecture. An ample amount of clinical and experimental evidence has depicted a pivotal role for alcohol metabolism especially the main alcohol metabolic product acetaldehyde, in the pathogenesis of this myopathic state. Findings from our group and others have revealed that the mitochondrial isoform of aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH2), which metabolizes acetaldehyde, governs the detoxification of acetaldehyde formed following alcohol consumption and the ultimate elimination of alcohol from the body. The ALDH2 enzymatic cascade may evolve as a unique detoxification mechanism for environmental alcohols and aldehydes to alleviate the undesired cardiac anomalies in ischemia-reperfusion and alcoholism. Polymorphic variants of the ALDH2 gene encode enzymes with altered pharmacokinetic properties and a significantly higher prevalence of cardiovascular diseases associated with alcoholism. The pathophysiological effects of ALDH2 polymorphism may be mediated by accumulation of acetaldehyde and other reactive aldehydes. Inheritance of the inactive ALDH2*2 gene product is associated with a decreased risk of alcoholism but an increased risk of alcoholic complications. This association is influenced by gene-environment interactions such as those associated with religion and national origin. The purpose of this review is to recapitulate the pathogenesis of alcoholic cardiomyopathy with a special focus on ALDH2 enzymatic metabolism. It will be important to dissect the links between ALDH2 polymorphism and prevalence of alcoholic cardiomyopathy, in order to determine the mechanisms underlying such associations. The therapeutic value of ALDH2 as both target and tool in the management of alcoholic tissue damage will be discussed.
doi:10.1016/j.pharmthera.2011.05.008
PMCID: PMC3144032  PMID: 21664374
Alcohol; ALDH2; enzyme; metabolism; myocardial; transgenic mice
3.  Inhibition of Aldehyde Dehydrogenase 2 by Oxidative Stress Is Associated with Cardiac Dysfunction in Diabetic Rats 
Molecular Medicine  2010;17(3-4):172-179.
Left ventricular (LV) dysfunction is a common comorbidity in diabetic patients, although the molecular mechanisms underlying this cardiomyopathic feature are not completely understood. Aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) has been considered a key cardioprotective enzyme susceptible to oxidative inactivation. We hypothesized that hyperglycemia-induced oxidative stress would influence ALDH2 activity, and ALDH2 inhibition would lead to cardiac functional alterations in diabetic rats. Diabetes was induced by intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection of 60 mg/kg streptozotocin. Rats were divided randomly into four groups: control, untreated diabetic, diabetic treated with N-acetylcysteine (NAC) and diabetic treated with α-lipoic acid (α-LA). Cardiac contractile function, oxidative stress markers and reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels were assessed. ALDH2 activity and expression also were determined. The role of ALDH2 activity in change in hyperglycemia-induced mitochondrial membrane potential (Δψ) was tested in cultured neonatal cardiomyocytes. Myocardial MDA content and ROS were significantly higher in diabetic rats than in controls, whereas GSH content and Mn-SOD activity were decreased in diabetic rats. Compared with controls, diabetic rats exhibited significant reduction in LV ejection fraction and fractional shortening, accompanied by decreases in ALDH2 activity and expression. NAC and α-LA attenuated these changes. Mitochondrial Δψ was decreased greatly with hyperglycemia treatment, and high glucose combined with ALDH2 inhibition with daidzin further decreased Δψ. The ALDH2 activity can be regulated by oxidative stress in the diabetic rat heart. ALDH2 inhibition may be associated with LV reduced contractility, and mitochondrial impairment aggravated by ALDH2 inhibition might reflect an underlying mechanism which causes cardiac dysfunction in diabetic rats.
doi:10.2119/molmed.2010.00114
PMCID: PMC3060979  PMID: 20957334
4.  Aldehyde dehydrogenase 7A1 (ALDH7A1) attenuates reactive aldehyde and oxidative stress induced cytotoxicity 
Chemico-Biological Interactions  2011;191(1-3):269-277.
Mammalian aldehyde dehydrogenase 7A1 (ALDH7A1) is homologous to plant ALDH7B1 which protects against various forms of stress such as increased salinity, dehydration and treatment with oxidants or pesticides. Deleterious mutations in human ALDH7A1 are responsible for pyridoxine-dependent and folinic acid-responsive seizures. In previous studies, we have shown that human ALDH7A1 protects against hyperosmotic stress presumably through the generation of betaine, an important cellular osmolyte, formed from betaine aldehyde. Hyperosmotic stress is coupled to an increase in oxidative stress and lipid peroxidation (LPO). In this study, cell viability assays revealed that stable expression of mitochondrial ALDH7A1 in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells provides significant protection against treatment with the LPO-derived aldehydes hexanal and 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal (4HNE) implicating a protective function for the enzyme during oxidative stress. A significant increase in cell survival was also observed in CHO cells expressing either mitochondrial or cytosolic ALDH7A1 treated with increasing concentrations of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) or 4HNE, providing further evidence for anti-oxidant activity. In vitro enzyme activity assays indicate that human ALDH7A1 is sensitive to oxidation and that efficiency can be at least partially restored by incubating recombinant protein with the thiol reducing agent β-mercaptoethanol (BME). We also show that after reactivation with BME, recombinant ALDH7A1 is capable of metabolizing the reactive aldehyde 4HNE. In conclusion, ALDH7A1 mechanistically appears to provide cells protection through multiple pathways including the removal of toxic LPO-derived aldehydes in addition to osmolyte generation.
doi:10.1016/j.cbi.2011.02.016
PMCID: PMC3387551  PMID: 21338592
Aldehyde dehydrogenase 7A1; ALDH7A1; Antiquitin; Oxidative stress; 4HNE; 4-Hydroxynonenal
5.  Aldehyde Dehydrogenases in Cellular Responses to Oxidative/electrophilic Stress 
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are continuously generated within living systems and the inability to manage ROS load leads to elevated oxidative stress and cell damage. Oxidative stress is coupled to the oxidative degradation of lipid membranes, also known as lipid peroxidation. This process generates over 200 types of aldehydes, many of which are highly reactive and toxic. Aldehyde dehydrogenases (ALDHs) metabolize endogenous and exogenous aldehydes and thereby mitigate oxidative/electrophilic stress in prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms. ALDHs are found throughout the evolutionary gamut, from single celled organisms to complex multicellular species. Not surprisingly, many ALDHs in evolutionarily distant, and seemingly unrelated, species perform similar functions, including protection against a variety of environmental stressors like dehydration and ultraviolet radiation. The ability to act as an ‘aldehyde scavenger’ during lipid peroxidation is another ostensibly universal ALDH function found across species. Up-regulation of ALDHs is a stress response in bacteria (environmental and chemical stress), plants (dehydration, salinity and oxidative stress), yeast (ethanol exposure and oxidative stress), Caenorhabditis elegans (lipid peroxidation) and mammals (oxidative stress and lipid peroxidation). Recent studies have also identified ALDH activity as an important feature of cancer stem cells. In these cells, ALDH expression helps abrogate oxidative stress and imparts resistance against chemotherapeutic agents such as oxazaphosphorine, taxane and platinum drugs. The ALDH superfamily represents a fundamentally important class of enzymes that significantly contributes to the management of electrophilic/oxidative stress within living systems. Mutations in various ALDHs are associated with a variety of pathological conditions in humans, underscoring the fundamental importance of these enzymes in physiological and pathological processes.
doi:10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2012.11.010
PMCID: PMC3631350  PMID: 23195683
Aldehyde dehydrogenase; Cancer stem cells; Chemical stress; Dehydration; Electrophilic stress; Oxidative stress
6.  Molecular Cloning, Characterization, and Potential Roles of Cytosolic and Mitochondrial Aldehyde Dehydrogenases in Ethanol Metabolism in Saccharomyces cerevisiae† 
Journal of Bacteriology  1998;180(4):822-830.
The full-length DNAs for two Saccharomyces cerevisiae aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) genes were cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli. A 2,744-bp DNA fragment contained an open reading frame encoding cytosolic ALDH1, with 500 amino acids, which was located on chromosome XVI. A 2,661-bp DNA fragment contained an open reading frame encoding mitochondrial ALDH5, with 519 amino acids, of which the N-terminal 23 amino acids were identified as the putative leader sequence. The ALDH5 gene was located on chromosome V. The commercial ALDH (designated ALDH2) was partially sequenced and appears to be a mitochondrial enzyme encoded by a gene located on chromosome XV. The recombinant ALDH1 enzyme was found to be essentially NADP dependent, while the ALDH5 enzyme could utilize either NADP or NAD as a cofactor. The activity of ALDH1 was stimulated two- to fourfold by divalent cations but was unaffected by K+ ions. In contrast, the activity of ALDH5 increased in the presence of K+ ions: 15-fold with NADP and 40-fold with NAD, respectively. Activity staining of isoelectric focusing gels showed that cytosolic ALDH1 contributed 30 to 70% of the overall activity, depending on the cofactor used, while mitochondrial ALDH2 contributed the rest. Neither ALDH5 nor the other ALDH-like proteins identified from the genomic sequence contributed to the in vitro oxidation of acetaldehyde. To evaluate the physiological roles of these three ALDH isoenzymes, the genes encoding cytosolic ALDH1 and mitochondrial ALDH2 and ALDH5 were disrupted in the genome of strain TWY397 separately or simultaneously. The growth of single-disruption Δald1 and Δald2 strains on ethanol was marginally slower than that of the parent strain. The Δald1 Δald2 double-disruption strain failed to grow on glucose alone, but growth was restored by the addition of acetate, indicating that both ALDHs might catalyze the oxidation of acetaldehyde produced during fermentation. The double-disruption strain grew very slowly on ethanol. The role of mitochondrial ALDH5 in acetaldehyde metabolism has not been defined but appears to be unimportant.
PMCID: PMC106960  PMID: 9473035
7.  Genome-Wide Identification and Analysis of Grape Aldehyde Dehydrogenase (ALDH) Gene Superfamily 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(2):e32153.
Background
The completion of the grape genome sequencing project has paved the way for novel gene discovery and functional analysis. Aldehyde dehydrogenases (ALDHs) comprise a gene superfamily encoding NAD(P)+-dependent enzymes that catalyze the irreversible oxidation of a wide range of endogenous and exogenous aromatic and aliphatic aldehydes. Although ALDHs have been systematically investigated in several plant species including Arabidopsis and rice, our knowledge concerning the ALDH genes, their evolutionary relationship and expression patterns in grape has been limited.
Methodology/Principal Findings
A total of 23 ALDH genes were identified in the grape genome and grouped into ten families according to the unified nomenclature system developed by the ALDH Gene Nomenclature Committee (AGNC). Members within the same grape ALDH families possess nearly identical exon-intron structures. Evolutionary analysis indicates that both segmental and tandem duplication events have contributed significantly to the expansion of grape ALDH genes. Phylogenetic analysis of ALDH protein sequences from seven plant species indicates that grape ALDHs are more closely related to those of Arabidopsis. In addition, synteny analysis between grape and Arabidopsis shows that homologs of a number of grape ALDHs are found in the corresponding syntenic blocks of Arabidopsis, suggesting that these genes arose before the speciation of the grape and Arabidopsis. Microarray gene expression analysis revealed large number of grape ALDH genes responsive to drought or salt stress. Furthermore, we found a number of ALDH genes showed significantly changed expressions in responses to infection with different pathogens and during grape berry development, suggesting novel roles of ALDH genes in plant-pathogen interactions and berry development.
Conclusion
The genome-wide identification, evolutionary and expression analysis of grape ALDH genes should facilitate research in this gene family and provide new insights regarding their evolution history and functional roles in plant stress tolerance.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0032153
PMCID: PMC3280228  PMID: 22355416
8.  Post-translational modifications of mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenase and biomedical implications 
Journal of proteomics  2011;74(12):2691-2702.
Aldehyde dehydrogenases (ALDHs) represent large family members of NAD(P)+-dependent dehydrogenases responsible for the irreversible metabolism of many endogenous and exogenous aldehydes to the corresponding acids. Among 19 ALDH isozymes, mitochondrial ALDH2 is a low Km enzyme responsible for the metabolism of acetaldehyde and lipid peroxides such as malondialdehyde and 4-hydroxynonenal, both of which are highly reactive and toxic. Consequently, inhibition of ALDH2 would lead to elevated levels of acetaldehyde and other reactive lipid peroxides following ethanol intake and/or exposure to toxic chemicals. In addition, many East Asian people with a dominant negative mutation in ALDH2 gene possess a decreased ALDH2 activity with increased risks for various types of cancer, myocardial infarct, alcoholic liver disease, and other pathological conditions. The aim of this review is to briefly describe the multiple post-translational modifications of mitochondrial ALDH2, as an example, after exposure to toxic chemicals or under different disease states and their pathophysiological roles in promoting alcohol/drug-mediated tissue damage. We also briefly mention exciting preclinical translational research opportunities to identify small molecule activators of ALDH2 and its isozymes as potentially therapeutic/preventive agents against various disease states where the expression or activity of ALDH enzymes is altered or inactivated.
doi:10.1016/j.jprot.2011.05.013
PMCID: PMC3177986  PMID: 21609791
Aldehyde dehydrogenases; post-translational modifications; cellular defense; drug toxicity; disease states; translational research
9.  Molecular Characterization, Expression Analysis and Role of ALDH3B1 in The Cellular Protection Against Oxidative Stress 
Free radical biology & medicine  2010;49(9):1432-1443.
Aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) enzymes are critical in the detoxification of aldehydes. The human genome contains 19 ALDH genes, mutations in which are the basis of several diseases. The expression, subcellular localization, enzyme kinetics and role of ALDH3B1 against aldehyde- and oxidant-induced cytotoxicity were investigated. ALDH3B1 was purified from Sf9 cells using chromatographic methods and enzyme kinetics were determined spectrophotometrically. ALDH3B1 demonstrated high affinity for hexanal (Km 62 μM), octanal (Km 8 μM), 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal (4HNE) (Km 52 μM) and benzaldehyde (Km 46 μM). Low affinity was seen towards acetaldehyde (Km 23.3 mM), malondialdehyde (Km 152 mM) and the ester p-nitrophenylacetate (Km 3.6 mM). ALDH3B1 mRNA was abundant in testis, lung, kidney and ovary. ALDH3B1 protein was highly expressed in these tissues and the liver. Immunofluorescence microscopy of ALDH3B1-transfected human embryonic kidney (HEK293) cells and subcellular fractionation of mouse kidney and liver revealed a cytosolic protein localization. ALDH3B1-transfected HEK293 cells were significantly protected from the lipid peroxidation-derived aldehydes trans-2-octenal, 4HNE and hexanal, and the oxidants H2O2 and menadione. In addition, ALDH3B1 protein expression was up-regulated by 4HNE in ARPE-19 cells. The results detailed in this study support a pathophysiological role for ALDH3B1 in protecting cells from the damaging effects of oxidative stress.
doi:10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2010.08.004
PMCID: PMC3457645  PMID: 20699116
aldehyde dehydrogenase 3B1 (ALDH3B1); 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal; lipid peroxidation; mRNA; protein expression; enzyme kinetics; aldehyde toxicity
10.  Impaired Cardiac SIRT1 Activity by Carbonyl Stress Contributes to Aging-Related Ischemic Intolerance 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e74050.
Reactive aldehydes can initiate protein oxidative damage which may contribute to heart senescence. Sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) is considered to be a potential interventional target for I/R injury management in the elderly. We hypothesized that aldehyde mediated carbonyl stress increases susceptibility of aged hearts to ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury, and elucidate the underlying mechanisms with a focus on SIRT1. Male C57BL/6 young (4-6 mo) and aged (22-24 mo) mice were subjected to myocardial I/R. Cardiac aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH2), SIRT1 activity and protein carbonyls were assessed. Our data revealed that aged heart exhibited increased endogenous aldehyde/carbonyl stress due to impaired ALDH2 activity concomitant with blunted SIRT1 activity (P<0.05). Exogenous toxic aldehydes (4-HNE) exposure in isolated cardiomyocyte verified that aldehyde-induced carbonyl modification on SIRT1 impaired SIRT1 activity leading to worse hypoxia/reoxygenation (H/R) injury, which could all be rescued by Alda-1 (ALDH2 activator) (all P<0.05). However, SIRT1 inhibitor blocked the protective effect of Alda-1 on H/R cardiomyocyte. Interestingly, myocardial I/R leads to higher carbonylation but lower activity of SIRT1 in aged hearts than that seen in young hearts (P<0.05). The application of Alda-1 significantly reduced the carbonylation on SIRT1 and markedly improved the tolerance to in vivo I/R injury in aged hearts, but failed to protect Sirt1+/− knockout mice against myocardial I/R injury. This was verified by Alda-1 treatment improved postischemic contractile function recovery in ex vivo perfused aged but not in Sirt1+/− hearts. Thus, aldehyde/carbonyl stress is accelerated in aging heart. These results provide a new insight that impaired cardiac SIRT1 activity by carbonyl stress plays a critical role in the increased susceptibility of aged heart to I/R injury. ALDH2 activation can restore this aging-related myocardial ischemic intolerance.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0074050
PMCID: PMC3769351  PMID: 24040162
11.  Association between aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 polymorphisms and the incidence of diabetic retinopathy among Japanese subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus 
Background
Mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) detoxifies reactive aldehydes in the micro- and macrovasculature. These substrates, including methylglyoxal and 4-hydroxynonenal formed from glucose and lipids, cause protein carbonylation and mitochondrial dysfunction, forming advanced glycation end products (AGEs). The present study aimed to confirm the association between the inactive ALDH2*2 allele and diabetic retinopathy (DR).
Methods
A retrospective longitudinal analysis was conducted, among 234 Japanese patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) (156 males and 78 females) who had no DR signs at baseline and were treated for more than half a year. The ALDH2*1/*2 alleles were determined using a real-time TaqMan allelic discrimination assay. Multivariate-adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidential intervals (CIs) for the cumulative incidence of the development of DR were examined using a Cox proportional hazard model, taking drinking habits and the serum γ-glutamyltransferase (GGT) level into consideration.
Results
The frequency of the ALDH2*2 allele was 22.3%. Fifty-two subjects cumulatively developed DR during the follow-up period of 5.5 ± 2.5 years. The ALDH2*2 allele carriers had a significantly higher incidence of DR than the non-carriers (HR: 1.92; P = 0.02). The incidence of DR was significantly higher in the drinkers with the ALDH2*2 allele than in those with the ALDH2*1/*1 genotype (HR: 2.61; P = 0.03), while the incidence of DR in the non-drinkers did not differ significantly between the ALDH2 genotype groups (P > 0.05). The incidence of DR was significantly higher in the ALDH2*2 allele carriers with a high GGT level than in the non-carriers with a high or low GGT level (HR: 2.45; P = 0.03; and HR: 2.63; P = 0.03, respectively).
Conclusions
To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of a significant association between the ALDH2*2 allele and the incidence of DR. These findings provide additional evidence that ALDH2 protects both microvasculature and macrovasculature against reactive aldehydes generated under conditions of sustained oxidative stress, although further investigations in larger cohorts are needed to verify the results.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-12-132
PMCID: PMC3847457  PMID: 24028448
Advanced glycation end products; Alcohol drinking; Aldehyde dehydrogenase 2; Diabetic retinopathy; Diabetic angiopathy; γ-glutamyltransferase; Oxidative stress; Type 2 diabetes mellitus
12.  Role of the General Base Glu-268 in Nitroglycerin Bioactivation and Superoxide Formation by Aldehyde Dehydrogenase-2* 
The Journal of Biological Chemistry  2009;284(30):19878-19886.
Mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenase-2 (ALDH2) plays an essential role in nitroglycerin (GTN) bioactivation, resulting in formation of NO or a related activator of soluble guanylate cyclase. ALDH2 denitrates GTN to 1,2-glyceryl dinitrate and nitrite but also catalyzes reduction of GTN to NO. To elucidate the relationship between ALDH2-catalyzed GTN bioconversion and established ALDH2 activities (dehydrogenase, esterase), we compared the function of the wild type (WT) enzyme with mutants lacking either the reactive Cys-302 (C302S) or the general base Glu-268 (E268Q). Although the C302S mutation led to >90% loss of all enzyme activities, the E268Q mutant exhibited virtually unaffected rates of GTN denitration despite low dehydrogenase and esterase activities. The nucleotide co-factor NAD caused a pronounced increase in the rates of 1,2-glyceryl dinitrate formation by WT-ALDH2 but inhibited the reaction catalyzed by the E268Q mutant. GTN bioactivation measured as activation of purified soluble guanylate cyclase or release of NO in the presence of WT- or E268Q-ALDH2 was markedly potentiated by superoxide dismutase, suggesting that bioavailability of GTN-derived NO is limited by co-generation of superoxide. Formation of superoxide was confirmed by determination of hydroethidine oxidation that was inhibited by superoxide dismutase and the ALDH2 inhibitor chloral hydrate. E268Q-ALDH2 exhibited ∼50% lower rates of superoxide formation than the WT enzyme. Our results suggest that Glu-268 is involved in the structural organization of the NAD-binding pocket but is not required for GTN denitration. ALDH2-catalyzed superoxide formation may essentially contribute to oxidative stress in GTN-exposed blood vessels.
doi:10.1074/jbc.M109.005652
PMCID: PMC2740413  PMID: 19506075
13.  Aldehyde Dehydrogenases in Arabidopsis thaliana: Biochemical Requirements, Metabolic Pathways, and Functional Analysis 
Aldehyde dehydrogenases (ALDHs) are a family of enzymes which catalyze the oxidation of reactive aldehydes to their corresponding carboxylic acids. Here we summarize molecular genetic and biochemical analyses of selected Arabidopsis ALDH genes. Aldehyde molecules are very reactive and are involved in many metabolic processes but when they accumulate in excess they become toxic. Thus activity of aldehyde dehydrogenases is important in regulating the homeostasis of aldehydes. Overexpression of some ALDH genes demonstrated an improved abiotic stress tolerance. Despite the fact that several reports are available describing a role for specific ALDHs, their precise physiological roles are often still unclear. Therefore a number of genetic and biochemical tools have been generated to address the function with an emphasis on stress-related ALDHs. ALDHs exert their functions in different cellular compartments and often in a developmental and tissue specific manner. To investigate substrate specificity, catalytic efficiencies have been determined using a range of substrates varying in carbon chain length and degree of carbon oxidation. Mutational approaches identified amino acid residues critical for coenzyme usage and enzyme activities.
doi:10.3389/fpls.2011.00065
PMCID: PMC3355590  PMID: 22639603
aldehyde dehydrogenases; aminoaldehyde dehydrogenases; betaine aldehyde dehydrogenases; coenzyme binding; enzyme activities; stress tolerance
14.  Aldehyde Dehydrogenase-2 Deficiency Aggravates Cardiac Dysfunction Elicited by Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress Induction 
Molecular Medicine  2012;18(1):785-793.
Mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenase-2 (ALDH2) has been characterized as an important mediator of endogenous cytoprotection in the heart. This study was designed to examine the role of ALDH2 knockout (KO) in the regulation of cardiac function after endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. Wild-type (WT) and ALDH2 KO mice were subjected to a tunicamycin challenge, and the echocardiographic property was examined. Protein levels of six items—78 kDa glucose-regulated protein (GRP78), phosphorylation of eukaryotic initiation factor 2 subunit α (p-eIF2α), CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein homologous protein (CHOP), phosphorylation of Akt, p47phox nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase and 4-hydroxynonenal—were determined by using Western blot analysis. Cytotoxicity and apoptosis were estimated using 3-(4, 5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2, 5-diphenyl-tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay and caspase-3 activity, respectively. ALDH2 deficiency exacerbated cardiac contractile dysfunction and promoted ER stress after ER stress induction, manifested by the changes of ejection fraction and fractional shortening. In vitro study revealed that tunicamycin significantly upregulated the levels of GRP78, p-eIF2α, CHOP, p47phox NADPH oxidase and 4-hydroxynonenal, which was exacerbated by ALDH2 knockdown and abolished by ALDH2 overexpression, respectively. Overexpression of ALDH2 abrogated tunicamycin-induced dephosphorylation Akt. Inhibition of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase using LY294002 did not affect ALDH2-conferred protection against ER stress, although LY294002 reversed the antiapoptotic action of ALDH2 associated with p47phox NADPH oxidase. These results suggest a pivotal role of ALDH2 in the regulation of ER stress and ER stress–induced apoptosis. The protective role of ALDH2 against ER stress–induced cell death was probably mediated by Akt via a p47phox NADPH oxidase-dependent manner. These findings indicate the critical role of ALDH2 in the pathogenesis of ER stress in heart disease.
doi:10.2119/molmed.2011.00466
PMCID: PMC3409283  PMID: 22430940
15.  MITOCHONDRIAL ALDEHYDE DEHYDROGENASE PREVENTS ROS-INDUCED VASCULAR CONTRACTION IN ANGIOTENSIN II HYPERTENSIVE MICE 
Background
Mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH2) is an enzyme that detoxifies aldehydes to carboxylic acids. ALDH2 deficiency is known to increase oxidative stress, which is the imbalance between reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and antioxidant defense activity. Increased ROS contribute to vascular dysfunction and structural remodeling in hypertension. We hypothesized that ALDH2 plays a protective role to reduce vascular contraction in angiotensin II (AngII) hypertensive mice.
Methods and Results
Endothelium-denuded aortic rings from C57BL6 mice, treated with AngII (3.6 μg/kg/min, 14 days), were used to measure isometric force development. Rings treated with daidzin (10 μmol/L), an ALDH2 inhibitor, potentiated contractile responses to phenylephrine (PE) in AngII mice. Tempol (1 mmol/L) and catalase (600U/ml) attenuated the augmented contractile effect of daidzin. In normotensive mice, contraction to PE in the presence of the daidzin was not different from control, untreated values. AngII aortic rings transfected with ALDH2 recombinant protein decreased contractile responses to PE compared with control.
Conclusions
These data suggest that ALDH2 reduces vascular contraction in AngII hypertensive mice. Since tempol and catalase blocked the contractile response of the ALDH2 inhibitor, ROS generation by AngII may be decreased by ALDH2, thereby preventing ROS-induced contraction.
doi:10.1016/j.jash.2011.02.005
PMCID: PMC3085594  PMID: 21459068
Hypertension; ROS; ALDH2; Vascular contraction
16.  Characteristics and Expression Patterns of the Aldehyde Dehydrogenase (ALDH) Gene Superfamily of Foxtail Millet (Setaria italica L.) 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(7):e101136.
Recent genomic sequencing of the foxtail millet, an abiotic, stress-tolerant crop, has provided a great opportunity for novel gene discovery and functional analysis of this popularly-grown grass. However, few stress-mediated gene families have been studied. Aldehyde dehydrogenases (ALDHs) comprise a gene superfamily encoding NAD (P) +-dependent enzymes that play the role of “aldehyde scavengers”, which indirectly detoxify cellular ROS and reduce the effect of lipid peroxidation meditated cellular toxicity under various environmental stresses. In the current paper, we identified a total of 20 ALDH genes in the foxtail millet genome using a homology search and a phylogenetic analysis and grouped them into ten distinct families based on their amino acid sequence identity. Furthermore, evolutionary analysis of foxtail millet reveals that both tandem and segmental duplication contributed significantly to the expansion of its ALDH genes. The exon-intron structures of members of the same family in foxtail millet or the orthologous genes in rice display highly diverse distributions of their exonic and intronic regions. Also, synteny analysis shows that the majority of foxtail millet and rice ALDH gene homologs exist in the syntenic blocks between the two, implying that these ALDH genes arose before the divergence of cereals. Semi-quantitative and real-time quantitative PCR data reveals that a few SiALDH genes are expressed in an organ-specific manner and that the expression of a number of foxtail millet ALDH genes, such as, SiALDH7B1, SiALDH12A1 and SiALDH18B2 are up-regulated by osmotic stress, cold, H2O2, and phytohormone abscisic acid (ABA). Furthermore, the transformation of SiALDH2B2, SiALDH10A2, SiALDH5F1, SiALDH22A1, and SiALDH3E2 into Escherichia coli (E.coli) was able to improve their salt tolerance. Taken together, our results show that genome-wide identification characteristics and expression analyses provide unique opportunities for assessing the functional roles of foxtail millet ALDH genes in stress responses.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0101136
PMCID: PMC4079696  PMID: 24988301
17.  Corneal Aldehyde Dehydogenases: Multiple Functions and Novel Nuclear Localization 
Brain research bulletin  2009;81(2-3):211-218.
Aldehyde dehydrogenases (ALDHs) represent a superfamily of NAD(P)+-dependent enzymes which catalyze the oxidation of a wide variety of endogenous and exogenous aldehydes to their corresponding acids. Some ALDHs have been identified as corneal crystallins and thereby contribute to the protective and refractive properties of the cornea. ALDH3A1 is highly expressed in the cornea of most mammals with the exception of rabbit, who abundantly expresses ALDH1A1 in the cornea instead of ALDH3A1. In this study, we examined the gene expression of other ALDHs and found high messenger levels of ALDH1B1, ALDH2 and ALDH7A1 in mouse cornea and lens. Substantial evidence supports a protective role for ALDH3A1 and ALDH1A1 against ultraviolet radiation (UVR)-induced oxidative damage to ocular tissues. The mechanism by which this protection occurs includes UVR filtering, detoxification of reactive aldehydes generated by UVR exposure and antioxidant activity. We recently have identified ALDH3A1 as a nuclear protein in corneal epithelium. Herein, we show that ALDH3A1 is also found in the nucleus of rabbit keratocytes. The nuclear presence of ALDH3A1 may be involved in cell cycle regulation.
doi:10.1016/j.brainresbull.2009.08.017
PMCID: PMC3025408  PMID: 19720116
18.  Non-P450 aldehyde oxidizing enzymes: the aldehyde dehydrogenase superfamily 
Background
Aldehydes are highly reactive molecules. While several non-P450 enzyme systems participate in their metabolism, one of the most important is the aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) superfamily, composed of NAD(P)+-dependent enzymes that catalyze aldehyde oxidation.
Objective
This article presents a review of what is currently known about each member of the human ALDH superfamily including the pathophysiological significance of these enzymes.
Methods
Relevant literature involving all members of the human ALDH family was extensively reviewed, with the primary focus on recent and novel findings.
Conclusion
To date, 19 ALDH genes have been identified in the human genome and mutations in these genes and subsequent inborn errors in aldehyde metabolism are the molecular basis of several diseases, including Sjögren-Larsson syndrome, type II hyperprolinemia, γ-hydroxybutyric aciduria and pyridoxine-dependent seizures. ALDH enzymes also play important roles in embryogenesis and development, neurotransmission, oxidative stress and cancer. Finally, ALDH enzymes display multiple catalytic and non-catalytic functions including ester hydrolysis, antioxidant properties, xenobiotic bioactivation and UV light absorption.
doi:10.1517/17425250802102627
PMCID: PMC2658643  PMID: 18611112
aldehyde dehydrogenase; aldehyde metabolism; ALDH
19.  The ALDH2 rs671 Polymorphism Affects Post-Stroke Epilepsy Susceptibility and Plasma 4-HNE Levels 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(10):e109634.
Recent studies have demonstrated the protective effect of mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) in cardiovascular diseases. Increased levels of the potential ALDH2 substrate 4-hydroxynonenal (4-HNE) are involved in myocardial/cerebral ischemia accompanied by a high level of oxidative stress. In this investigation, we first performed a case-control study to explore the potential association of ALDH2 rs671 polymorphism and post-stroke epilepsy (PSE). Then, we performed an in vitro study to determine whether the overexpression of ALDH2 could decrease the level of oxidative stress and the apoptosis ratio induced by 4-HNE. There was a significant difference in the distribution of the allele and genotype frequencies of the rs671 polymorphism between PSE patients and ischemic stroke (IS) patients. Individuals with the rs671 A allele showed significantly higher levels of plasma 4-HNE. The overexpression of ALDH2 partially blocked the increased levels of malondialdehyde (MDA), reactive oxygen species (ROS) and apoptosis ratio induced by 4-HNE and also partially restored the ALDH2 activity in PC12 cells; these effects were reversed in the presence of εV1-2. Our results suggest that the ALDH2 rs671 polymorphism is associated with PSE susceptibility and affects the 4-HNE levels. Targeting ALDH2 might be a useful strategy for the treatment or prevention of PSE.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0109634
PMCID: PMC4196934  PMID: 25313998
20.  IN VITRO ORGANIC NITRATE BIOACTIVATION TO NITRIC OXIDE BY RECOMBINANT ALDEHYDE DEHYDROGENASE 3A1 
Organic nitrates (ORNs) are commonly used anti-ischemic and anti-anginal agents, which serve as an exogenous source of the potent vasodilator nitric oxide (NO). Recently, both mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenase-2 (ALDH2) and cytosolic aldehyde dehydrogenase-1a1 (ALDH1A1) have been shown to exhibit the ability to selectively bioactivate various ORNs in vitro. The objective of the present research was to examine the potential role of ALDH3A1, another major cytosolic isoform of ALDH, in the in vitro bioactivation of various ORNs, and to estimate the enzyme kinetic parameters toward ORNs through mechanistic modeling. The extent of bioactivation was assayed by exposing recombinant ALDH3A1 to various concentrations of ORNs, and measuring the concentration-time profiles of released NO via a NO-specific electrode. Metabolite formation kinetics was monitored for nitroglycerin (NTG) using LC/MS/MS. Our results showed that ALDH3A1 mRNA and protein were highly expressed in C57BL/6 mouse aortic, cardiac, and hepatic tissues, and it was able to release NO from several ORNs, including NTG, isosorbide dinitrate (ISDN), isosorbide-2-mononitrate (IS-2-MN), and nicorandil with similar Vmax (0.175 – 0.503 nmol/min/mg of ALDH3A1), and Km values of 4.01, 46.5, 818 and 5.75 × 103 μM respectively. However, activation of isosorbide-5-mononitrate (IS-5-MN) by ALDH3A1 was undetectable in vitro. ALDH3A1 was also shown to denitrate NTG, producing primarily glyceryl 1, 2-dinitrate (1, 2-GDN) in preference to glyceryl 1, 3-dinitrate (1, 3-GDN). Therefore, ALDH3A1 may contribute to the bioactivation of ORNs in vivo.
doi:10.1016/j.niox.2013.09.005
PMCID: PMC3895916  PMID: 24126018
Organic nitrates; Aldehyde dehydrogenase 3A1; Nitric oxide; Kinetics
21.  Aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 in cardiac protection: a new therapeutic target? 
Trends in cardiovascular medicine  2009;19(5):158-164.
Mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) is emerging as a key enzyme involved in cytoprotection in the heart. ALDH2 mediates both the detoxification of reactive aldehydes such as acetaldehyde and 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal (4-HNE) and the bioactivation of nitroglycerin (GTN) to nitric oxide (NO). In addition, chronic nitrate treatment results in ALDH2 inhibition and contributes to nitrate tolerance. Our lab recently identified ALDH2 to be a key mediator of endogenous cytoprotection. We reported that ALDH2 is phosphorylated and activated by the survival kinase protein kinase C epsilon (PKCε) and found a strong inverse correlation between ALDH2 activity and infarct size. We also identified a small molecule ALDH2 activator (Alda-1) which reduces myocardial infarct size induced by ischemia/reperfusion in vivo. In this review, we discuss evidence that ALDH2 is a key mediator of endogenous survival signaling in the heart, suggest possible cardioprotective mechanisms mediated by ALDH2, and discuss potential clinical implications of these findings.
doi:10.1016/j.tcm.2009.09.003
PMCID: PMC2856486  PMID: 20005475
22.  Expression and Initial Characterization of Human ALDH3B1 
Aldehyde dehydrogenases (ALDHs) are critical enzymes in the metabolism of endogenous and exogenous aldehydes. The human genome contains nineteen putatively functional ALDH genes; ALDH3B1 belongs to the ALDH3 family. While recent studies have linked the ALDH3B1 locus to schizophrenia, nothing was known, until now, about the properties and significance of the ALDH3B1 protein. The aim of this study was to characterize the ALDH3B1 protein. Human ALDH3B1 was baculovirus-expressed and found to be catalytically active towards medium- and long-chain aliphatic aldehydes and the aromatic aldehyde benzaldehyde. Western blot analyses indicate that ALDH3B1 is highly expressed in kidney and liver and moderately expressed in various brain regions. ALDH3B1-transfected HEK293 cells were significantly protected against cytotoxicity induced by the lipid-peroxidation product octanal when compared to vector-transfected cells. This study shows for the first time the functionality, expression and protective role of ALDH3B1 and indicates a potential physiological role of ALDH3B1 against oxidative stress.
doi:10.1016/j.bbrc.2007.03.046
PMCID: PMC1899873  PMID: 17382292
ALDH3B1; aldehyde metabolism; schizophrenia; 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetaldehyde; 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal; oxidative stress; lipid peroxidation
23.  Update on the aldehyde dehydrogenase gene (ALDH) superfamily 
Human Genomics  2011;5(4):283-303.
Members of the aldehyde dehydrogenase gene (ALDH) superfamily play an important role in the enzymic detoxification of endogenous and exogenous aldehydes and in the formation of molecules that are important in cellular processes, like retinoic acid, betaine and gamma-aminobutyric acid. ALDHs exhibit additional, non-enzymic functions, including the capacity to bind to some hormones and other small molecules and to diminish the effects of ultraviolet irradiation in the cornea. Mutations in ALDH genes leading to defective aldehyde metabolism are the molecular basis of several diseases, including gamma-hydroxybutyric aciduria, pyridoxine-dependent seizures, Sjögren–Larsson syndrome and type II hyperprolinaemia. Interestingly, several ALDH enzymes appear to be markers for normal and cancer stem cells. The superfamily is evolutionarily ancient and is represented within Archaea, Eubacteria and Eukarya taxa. Recent improvements in DNA and protein sequencing have led to the identification of many new ALDH family members. To date, the human genome contains 19 known ALDH genes, as well as many pseudogenes. Whole-genome sequencing allows for comparison of the entire complement of ALDH family members among organisms. This paper provides an update of ALDH genes in several recently sequenced vertebrates and aims to clarify the associated records found in the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) gene database. It also highlights where and when likely gene-duplication and gene-loss events have occurred. This information should be useful to future studies that might wish to compare the role of ALDH members among species and how the gene superfamily as a whole has changed throughout evolution.
PMCID: PMC3392178  PMID: 21712190
ALDH; aldehyde dehydrogenase; nomenclature; carbonyl metabolism; evolution; gene family
24.  Update on the aldehyde dehydrogenase gene (ALDH) superfamily 
Human Genomics  2011;5(4):283-303.
Members of the aldehyde dehydrogenase gene (ALDH) superfamily play an important role in the enzymic detoxification of endogenous and exogenous aldehydes and in the formation of molecules that are important in cellular processes, like retinoic acid, betaine and gamma-aminobutyric acid. ALDHs exhibit additional, non-enzymic functions, including the capacity to bind to some hormones and other small molecules and to diminish the effects of ultraviolet irradiation in the cornea. Mutations in ALDH genes leading to defective aldehyde metabolism are the molecular basis of several diseases, including gamma-hydroxybutyric aciduria, pyridoxine-dependent seizures, Sjögren-Larsson syndrome and type II hyperprolinaemia. Interestingly, several ALDH enzymes appear to be markers for normal and cancer stem cells. The superfamily is evolutionarily ancient and is represented within Archaea, Eubacteria and Eukarya taxa. Recent improvements in DNA and protein sequencing have led to the identification of many new ALDH family members. To date, the human genome contains 19 known ALDH genes, as well as many pseudogenes. Whole-genome sequencing allows for comparison of the entire complement of ALDH family members among organisms. This paper provides an update of ALDH genes in several recently sequenced vertebrates and aims to clarify the associated records found in the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) gene database. It also highlights where and when likely gene-duplication and gene-loss events have occurred. This information should be useful to future studies that might wish to compare the role of ALDH members among species and how the gene superfamily as a whole has changed throughout evolution.
doi:10.1186/1479-7364-5-4-283
PMCID: PMC3392178  PMID: 21712190
ALDH; aldehyde dehydrogenase; nomenclature; carbonyl metabolism; evolution; gene family
25.  Mitochondrial oxidative stress and nitrate tolerance – comparison of nitroglycerin and pentaerithrityl tetranitrate in Mn-SOD+/- mice 
Background
Chronic therapy with nitroglycerin (GTN) results in a rapid development of nitrate tolerance which is associated with an increased production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). According to recent studies, mitochondrial ROS formation and oxidative inactivation of the organic nitrate bioactivating enzyme mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH-2) play an important role for the development of nitrate and cross-tolerance.
Methods
Tolerance was induced by infusion of wild type (WT) and heterozygous manganese superoxide dismutase mice (Mn-SOD+/-) with ethanolic solution of GTN (12.5 μg/min/kg for 4 d). For comparison, the tolerance-free pentaerithrityl tetranitrate (PETN, 17.5 μg/min/kg for 4 d) was infused in DMSO. Vascular reactivity was measured by isometric tension studies of isolated aortic rings. ROS formation and aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH-2) activity was measured in isolated heart mitochondria.
Results
Chronic GTN infusion lead to impaired vascular responses to GTN and acetylcholine (ACh), increased the ROS formation in mitochondria and decreased ALDH-2 activity in Mn-SOD+/- mice. In contrast, PETN infusion did not increase mitochondrial ROS formation, did not decrease ALDH-2 activity and accordingly did not lead to tolerance and cross-tolerance in Mn-SOD+/- mice. PETN but not GTN increased heme oxygenase-1 mRNA in EA.hy 926 cells and bilirubin efficiently scavenged GTN-derived ROS.
Conclusion
Chronic GTN infusion stimulates mitochondrial ROS production which is an important mechanism leading to tolerance and cross-tolerance. The tetranitrate PETN is devoid of mitochondrial oxidative stress induction and according to the present animal study as well as numerous previous clinical studies can be used without limitations due to tolerance and cross-tolerance.
doi:10.1186/1471-2261-6-44
PMCID: PMC1654181  PMID: 17092343

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