Age-dependent Protein Abundance of Cytosolic Alcohol and Aldehyde Dehydrogenases in Human Liver

Drug Metab Dispos. 2017 Sep;45(9):1044-1048. doi: 10.1124/dmd.117.076463. Epub 2017 Jun 12.


Hepatic cytosolic alcohol and aldehyde dehydrogenases (ADHs and ALDHs) catalyze the biotransformation of xenobiotics (e.g., cyclophosphamide and ethanol) and vitamin A. Because age-dependent hepatic abundance of these proteins is unknown, we quantified protein expression of ADHs and ALDH1A1 in a large cohort of pediatric and adult human livers by liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry proteomics. Purified proteins were used as calibrators. Two to three surrogate peptides per protein were quantified in trypsin digests of liver cytosolic samples and calibrator proteins under optimal conditions of reproducibility. Neonatal levels of ADH1A, ADH1B, ADH1C, and ALDH1A1 were 3-, 8-, 146-, and 3-fold lower than the adult levels, respectively. For all proteins, the abundance steeply increased during the first year of life, which mostly reached adult levels during early childhood (age between 1 and 6 years). Only for ADH1A protein abundance in adults (age > 18 year) was ∼40% lower relative to the early childhood group. Abundances of ADHs and ALDH1A1 were not associated with sex in samples with age > 1 year compared with males. Known single nucleotide polymorphisms had no effect on the protein levels of these proteins. Quantification of ADHs and ALDH1A1 protein levels could be useful in predicting disposition and response of substrates of these enzymes in younger children.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Alcohol Dehydrogenase / metabolism*
  • Aldehyde Dehydrogenase / metabolism*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Isoenzymes
  • Liver / enzymology*
  • Young Adult


  • Isoenzymes
  • Alcohol Dehydrogenase
  • Aldehyde Dehydrogenase