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Tanaka K, Whelan KA, Chandramouleeswaran PM, Kagawa S, Rustgi SL, Noguchi C, Guha M, Srinivasan S, Amanuma Y, Ohashi S, Muto M, Klein-Szanto AJ, Noguchi E, Avadhani NG, Nakagawa H
ALDH2 modulates autophagy flux to regulate acetaldehyde-mediated toxicity thresholds
Am J Cancer Res (2016) 6:781-96.
A polymorphic mutation in the acetaldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) gene has been epidemiologically linked to the high susceptibility to esophageal carcinogenesis for individuals with alcohol use disorders. Mice subjected to alcohol drinking show increased oxidative stress and DNA adduct formation in esophageal epithelia where Aldh2 loss augments alcohol-induced genotoxic effects; however, it remains elusive as to how esophageal epithelial cells with dysfunctional Aldh2 cope with oxidative stress related to alcohol metabolism. Here, we investigated the role of autophagy in murine esophageal epithelial cells (keratinocytes) exposed to ethanol and acetaldehyde. We find that ethanol and acetaldehyde trigger oxidative stress via mitochondrial superoxide in esophageal keratinocytes. Aldh2-deficient cells appeared to be highly susceptible to ethanol- or acetaldehyde-mediated toxicity. Alcohol dehydrogenase-mediated acetaldehyde production was implicated in ethanol-induced cell injury in Aldh2 deficient cells as ethanol-induced oxidative stress and cell death was partially inhibited by 4-methylpyrazole. Acetaldehyde activated autophagy flux in esophageal keratinocytes where Aldh2 deficiency increased dependence on autophagy to cope with ethanol-induced acetaldehyde-mediated oxidative stress. Pharmacological inhibition of autophagy flux by chloroquine stabilized p62/SQSTM1, and increased basal and acetaldehyde-mediate oxidative stress in Aldh2 deficient cells as documented in monolayer culture as well as single-cell derived three-dimensional esophageal organoids, recapitulating a physiological esophageal epithelial proliferation-differentiation gradient. Our innovative approach indicates, for the first time, that autophagy may provide cytoprotection to esophageal epithelial cells responding to oxidative stress that is induced by ethanol and its major metabolite acetaldehyde. Defining autophagymediated cytoprotection against alcohol-induced genotoxicity in the context of Aldh2 deficiency, our study provides mechanistic insights into the tumor suppressor functions of ALDH2 and autophagy in alcohol-related esophageal carcinogenesis.
Publication Date: 2016-03-01.
PMCID: PMC4859883
Last updated on Monday, July 13, 2020