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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Structural mutation in a major human aldehyde dehydrogenase gene results in loss of enzyme activity.

Most Caucasians have two major liver aldehyde dehydrogenase isozymes, ALDH1 and ALDH2, while approximately 50% of Orientals have only ALDH1 isozyme, missing the ALDH2 isozyme. A remarkably higher frequency of acute alcohol intoxication among Orientals than among Caucasians could be related to the absence of the ALDH2 isozyme, which has a low apparent Km for acetaldehyde. Examination of liver extracts by two-dimensional crossed immunoelectrophoresis revealed that an atypical Japanese liver, which had no ALDH2 isozyme, contained an enzymatically inactive but immunologically cross-reactive material corresponding to ALDH2, beside the active ALDH1 isozyme. Therefore, the absence of ALDH2 isozyme in atypical Orientals is not due to regulatory mutation, gene deletion, or nonsense mutation, but must be due to a structural mutation in a gene for the ALDH2 locus, resulting in synthesis of enzymatically inactive abnormal protein.[1]


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