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Biochem Genet. 1976 Dec;14(11-12):989-97.

Biological role of alcohol dehydrogenase in the tolerance of Drosophila melanogaster to aliphatic alochols: utilization of an ADH-null mutant.


The toxicity of the first eight primary alcohols and of four secondary alcohols was compared in a wild-type strain (having active ADH) and an ADH-negative mutant. Differences between LC50 measured in the two strains allowed an evaluation of the biological activity of the enzyme. In vitro, ADH is mainly active on secondary alcohols, while in vivo its main role is the detoxification and metabolism of ethanol. These observations suggest that originally ADH was involved in unknown metabolic pathways and that its utilization in ethanol metabolism could be a recent event.

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