Alcohol Metabolizing Enzymes, Microsomal Ethanol Oxidizing System, Cytochrome P450 2E1, Catalase, and Aldehyde Dehydrogenase in Alcohol-Associated Liver Disease

Biomedicines. 2020 Mar 4;8(3):50. doi: 10.3390/biomedicines8030050.


Once ingested, most of the alcohol is metabolized in the liver by alcohol dehydrogenase to acetaldehyde. Two additional pathways of acetaldehyde generation are by microsomal ethanol oxidizing system (cytochrome P450 2E1) and catalase. Acetaldehyde can form adducts which can interfere with cellular function, leading to alcohol-induced liver injury. The variants of alcohol metabolizing genes encode enzymes with varied kinetic properties and result in the different rate of alcohol elimination and acetaldehyde generation. Allelic variants of these genes with higher enzymatic activity are believed to be able to modify susceptibility to alcohol-induced liver injury; however, the human studies on the association of these variants and alcohol-associated liver disease are inconclusive. In addition to acetaldehyde, the shift in the redox state during alcohol elimination may also link to other pathways resulting in activation of downstream signaling leading to liver injury.

Keywords: alcohol metabolizing enzyme; and alcohol-associated liver disease; cytochrome P450 2E1.

Publication types

  • Review