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Pancreas. 2007 Aug;35(2):142-6.

The activity of class I, II, III, and IV of alcohol dehydrogenase isoenzymes and aldehyde dehydrogenase in pancreatic cancer.

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Department of Biochemical Diagnostics, Medical University of Bialystok, Bialystok, Poland.



The pancreas can metabolize ethanol via oxidative pathway involving the enzymes alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) and aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) as well as the nonoxidative pathway. In this study, we compared the activity of ADH isoenzymes and ALDH in the pancreatic cancer with the activity in normal tissue. In addition, the differences between enzyme activities of drinkers and nondrinkers were compared.


For the measurement of the activity of class I and II ADH isoenzymes and ALDH activity, we used the fluorometric methods. The total ADH activity and activity of class III and IV isoenzymes were measured by the photometric method. The samples were taken from 56 pancreatic cancer patients (22 drinkers and 34 nondrinkers) and 56 healthy subjects.


The activity of class III ADH was significantly higher in cancer than in healthy tissues. Total activities of ADH and ALDH were not significantly different in cancer and normal cells. The differences between enzymes of drinkers and nondrinkers in both cancer and healthy tissue were not significant.


Pancreatic cancer tissue exhibits higher activity of class III ADH isoenzyme than healthy tissue, and we consider that oxidative pathway of ethanol metabolism via ADH and ALDH does not play a role in pancreatic carcinogenesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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