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J Biol Chem. 1986 Feb 15;261(5):2027-33.

Molecular analysis of the human class I alcohol dehydrogenase gene family and nucleotide sequence of the gene encoding the beta subunit.


Human alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) exists as a heterogeneous group of isozymes capable of oxidizing a wide variety of aliphatic and aromatic alcohols. The five distinct human ADH subunits, each encoded by a separate gene, are differentially expressed during development and are subject to tissue-specific regulation. To analyze the organization and regulation of human ADH genes we first isolated a cDNA clone (pADH12) encoding the 3' portion of the beta ADH gene. In the current study pADH12 was used to screen a human genomic library, and several overlapping and nonoverlapping clones were selected. Hybridization and partial nucleotide sequence analyses of the clones indicated that three full-length human ADH genes encoding the alpha, beta, and gamma subunits were isolated. Human genomic DNA hybridization results indicate that the alpha, beta, and gamma ADH genes form a closely related gene family and suggest that the other known human ADH genes (i.e. those encoding the pi and chi subunits) share a more distant evolutionary relationship. Nucleotide sequence analysis of the beta ADH gene reveals that the coding region is interrupted by eight introns and spans approximately 15 kilobases. A presumptive transcription initiation site for the beta ADH gene was located by S1 nuclease mapping at a position 70 base pairs upstream of the start codon. The 5' flanking region possesses a TATA box promoter element as well as two tandem DNA sequences which display homology to previously examined glucocorticoid-responsive elements.

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