Alcohol and aldehyde dehydrogenase genotypes and drinking behavior of Chinese living in Shanghai

Hum Genet. 1995 Aug;96(2):151-4. doi: 10.1007/BF00207371.

Abstract

Alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) and aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH), the principal enzymes responsible for oxidative metabolism of ethanol, exist in multiple, genetically determined molecular forms. Widely different kinetic properties in some of these isozymes account for the individual differences in alcohol sensitivity. In this study we used the polymerase chain reaction/restriction fragment length polymorphism method to determine the genotypes of the ADH2 and ALDH2 loci of alcoholic and nonalcoholic Chinese living in Shanghai. We also investigated the subjects' drinking patterns by means of semistructured interviews. The alcoholics had significantly lower frequencies of the ADH2(2) and ALDH2(2) alleles than did the nonalcoholics, suggesting the inhibitory effects of these alleles for the development of alcoholism. In the nonalcoholic subjects, ADH2(2) had little, if any, effect, despite the significant effect of the ALDH2(2) allele in decreasing the alcohol consumption of the individual. Taken together, these results fit the proposed hypothesis for the development of alcoholism, i.e., drinking behavior is greatly influenced by the individual's genotypes of alcohol-metabolizing enzymes, and the risk of becoming alcoholic is proportionate with the ethanol consumption of the individual.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alcohol Dehydrogenase / genetics*
  • Alcohol Drinking / genetics*
  • Aldehyde Dehydrogenase / genetics*
  • Asians / genetics*
  • China
  • Female
  • Genetic Variation
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Isoenzymes / genetics*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged

Substances

  • Isoenzymes
  • Alcohol Dehydrogenase
  • Aldehyde Dehydrogenase