Genetic polymorphism of CYP2E1, ADH2, and ALDH2 in Mexican-Americans.

Yu-Jui Yvonne Wan, R. E. Poland, K. M. Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


The major enzymes involved in the metabolism of ethanol are alcohol dehydrogenases (ADH) and aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH). Some of the isozymes of ADH are expressed polymorphically. Studies investigating a causal link between ADH expression and alcoholic liver disease (ALD) have so far produced conflicting results. The cytochrome P450 2E1 (CYP2E1) represents a second enzyme that can metabolize ethanol. Although normally a minor route of metabolism, its role in chronic alcoholics may be proportionately greater than in nonalcoholics because CYP2E1 is inducible by ethanol. An Rsa I restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) in the 5'-flanking region of the CYP2E1 gene has been identified. Studies have shown that the mutant allele demonstrates greater transcriptional rate, protein level, and enzyme activity when compared with the wild-type allele. The association between the Rsa I site polymorphism and ALD has been reported. In this report, we examined the genotypes of ADH2(2), ALDH2(2), and CYP2E1 in a group of healthy subjects of Mexican-American descent. The ADH2(2) and ALDH2(2) frequencies are 6% and 0%, respectively, which are similar to those which have been reported for Caucasians. In contrast, the Rsa I allele frequency of the CYP2E1 gene is 16%, which is significantly higher than in Caucasians. The high RsaI allele frequency found in Mexican-Americans suggests that it might play a role in the development of ALD in this rapidly growing minority population where ALD is common.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-83
Number of pages5
JournalGenetic Testing
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)


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