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Nutr Rev. 1998 Feb;56(2 Pt 1):52-60.

Gastrointestinal alcohol dehydrogenase.

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Department of Medicine, Salem Medical Center, Heidelberg, Germany.


Alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) consists of a family of isozymes that convert alcohols to their corresponding aldehydes using NAD+ as a cofactor. The metabolism of ethanol by gastrointestinal ADH isozymes results in the production of acetaldehyde, a highly toxic compound that binds to cellular protein and DNA if not further metabolized to acetate by acetaldehyde dehydrogenase isozymes. Acetaldehyde seems to be involved in ethanol-associated cocarcinogenesis. The metabolism of retinol and the generation of retinoic acid is a function of class I and class IV ADH, and its inhibition by alcohol may lead to an alteration of epithelial cell differentiation and cell growth and may also be involved in ethanol-associated gastrointestinal cocarcinogenesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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