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Biochem J. 1975 Nov;151(2):407-12.

The effect of disulfiram on the aldehyde dehydrogenases of sheep liver.


1. The effect of disulfiram on the activity of the cytoplasmic and mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenases of sheep liver was studied. 2. Disulfiram causes an immediate inhibition of the enzyme reaction. The effect on the cytoplasmic enzyme is much greater than on the mitochondrial enzyme. 3. In both cases, the initial partial inhibition is followed by a gradual irreversible loss of activity. 4. The pH-rate profile of the inactivation of the mitochondrial enzyme by disulfiram and the pH-dependence of the maximum velocity of the enzyme-catalysed reaction are both consistent with the involvement of a thiol group. 5. Excess of 2-mercaptoethanol or GSH abolishes the effect of disulfiram. However, equimolar amounts of either of these reagents and disulfiram cause an effect greater than does disulfiram alone. It was shown that the mixed disulphide, Et2N-CS-SS-CH2-CH2OH, strongly inhibits aldehyde dehydrogenase. 6. The inhibitory effect of diethyldithiocarbamate in vitro is due mainly to contamination by disulfiram.

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