Baboon alcohol dehydrogenase isozymes: phenotypic changes in liver following chronic consumption of alcohol.

R. S. Holmes, J. L. VandeBerg

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    3 Scopus citations


    According to the nomenclature of Vallee and Bazzone [1983] for mammalian alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) isozymes, baboon ADHs comprise three major classes of activity, which were distinguished according to the following properties: Class I ADHs. These isozymes exhibited low-Km characteristics with ethanol as substrate, high isoelectric points (8.5-9.3), and sensitivity to 5 mM 4-methyl pyrazole inhibition, and were the major liver (ADH-2) and kidney (ADH-1) isozymes in the baboon. Class II ADHs. These isozymes showed high-Km values for ethanol, neutral isoelectric points (7.7 for the liver ADH-4 [pi-ADH] and 7.2 for the major stomach ADH [ADH-3], respectively), and were insensitive to inhibition with 5 mM 4-methyl pyrazole. Class III ADH. This enzyme was characterized by its inactivity with ethanol as substrate (up to 0.5 M), insensitivity to 4-methyl pyrazole inhibition, preference for medium-chain-length alcohols as substrate (trans-2-hexen-1-ol was routinely used in this study), and an isoelectric point (6.5) similar to that of the human liver chi-ADH (pI 6.4). Major activity variation of the liver pi-ADH (ADH-4) isozyme was observed among the 114 liver samples examined, with 34 percent exhibiting a null (or low-activity) phenotype. An electrophoretic variant phenotype for the major class II stomach isozyme (ADH-3) was also found in the population studied. The baboon was used as a model for studying alcohol-induced changes in liver ADH phenotype following chronic alcohol consumption. Prepuberal male baboons were pair-fed nutritionally adequate liquid diets containing ethanol (50 percent of calories) or isocaloric carbohydrates, and liver ADH isozyme patterns from biopsy samples were monitored for 20 weeks. Dramatic decreases in class II liver ADH activity (ADH-4, or pi-ADH) were observed within 4 weeks after the start of alcohol feeding, and a shift in liver class I isozymes was found during the later stages of alcohol consumption. These changes during chronic alcohol consumption may be adaptations of the liver: these include reduced capacity of the major ADH pathway and increased ethanol oxidation by the microsomal ethanol oxidizing system and possibly by peroxisomal catalase.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1-20
    Number of pages20
    StatePublished - Jan 1 1987

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Medicine(all)


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