Gene expression of carbonyl-metabolizing enzymes (CMEs) was investigated in normal buccal keratinocytes (NBK) and the transformed buccal keratinocyte lines SVpgC2a and SqCC/Y1. Studies were performed at a serum concentration known to induce terminal squamous differentiation (TSD) in normal cells. Overall, 39 of 58 evaluated CMEs were found to be expressed at the transcript level. Together the transformed cell lines showed altered transcription of eight CME genes compared to NBK, substantiating earlier results. Serum increased transcript levels of ALDH1A3, DHRS3, HPGD and AKR1A1, and decreased those of ALDH4A1 in NBK; of these, the transformed, TSD-deficient cell lines partly retained regulation of ALDH1A3 and DHRS3. Activity measurements in crude cell lysates, including relevant enzymatic inhibitors, indicated significant capacity for CME-mediated xenobiotic metabolism among the cell lines, notably with an increase in serum-differentiated NBK. The results constitute the first evidence for differential CME gene expression and activity in non-differentiated and differentiated states of epithelial cells.
- Buccal mucosa
- carbonyl-metabolizing enzymes
- quinone metabolism
- serum effects
- terminal squamous differentiation
- xenobiotic metabolism