Regulation of human alcohol dehydrogenase genes

Pharmacogenetics. 1992 Oct;2(5):185-96. doi: 10.1097/00008571-199210000-00001.


This review focuses upon the regulation of the three human class I alcohol dehydrogenase genes, ADH1, ADH2 and ADH3. These closely related genes are expressed at high levels in liver, and at different levels in other tissues. Multiple cis-acting sequences to which nuclear proteins bind have been mapped, and transcription factors that can bind to these sequences have been identified; these include C/EBP alpha, Sp1, USF, HNF1, CTF/NF1, the glucocorticoid receptor, and RAR alpha. There are interesting but often subtle differences in the binding to these three closely related genes, that presumably account for the differences in patterns of their expression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Dehydrogenase / genetics*
  • Base Sequence
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics
  • DNA / genetics
  • DNA / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Multigene Family
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Receptors, Glucocorticoid / genetics
  • Receptors, Retinoic Acid
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Receptors, Glucocorticoid
  • Receptors, Retinoic Acid
  • Transcription Factors
  • DNA
  • Alcohol Dehydrogenase