ethanol then doesn't get converted to acetaldehyde.

in fact, could someone KO'ed for ADH be resistant to methanol poisoning?

  • $\begingroup$ In theory I believe that's true, but they'd also be much more susceptible to the normal intoxicating properties of ethanol / methanol, which might be just as harmful. $\endgroup$ – octern Jan 26 '14 at 19:29
  • $\begingroup$ uh there are not individuals so ADH definition that survive. when the mother drank fruit juice or cough syrup they would be poisoned and brain dead. $\endgroup$ – user1357 Apr 27 '14 at 3:12

People, which have no ADH wouldn't be able to process methanol. Since the specificity of the ADH is higher for ethanol you get quite large amounts of ethanol for days (until the methanol level is under a specific level). Another possibility is to treat patient with the ADH inhibitor Fomepizole.

This also makes problems for the ethanol metabolization, but according to this paper ("The biochemistry of alcohol metabolism - a brief review") there are two other pathways of breakdown. One takes place in the peroxisomes and utilizes catalase and hydrogen peroxide (but is limited by the availability of peroxide), the other take place in the smooth endoplasmatic reticulum and uses the Cytochrome P450 enzyme.

I am not sure, if complete losses of ADH really happen (haven't found any reference) but mutations in this enzyme are quite common leading to a lower enzyme activity.

  • $\begingroup$ The flush reaction is caused by reduced activity of ALDEHYDE dehyrdogenase. The question is about alcohol dehydrogenase, which is necessary for alcohol to be converted into acetaldehyde in the first place. $\endgroup$ – octern Jan 26 '14 at 19:28
  • $\begingroup$ You are absolutely right. I changed my answer and will look up some other reference. $\endgroup$ – Chris Jan 26 '14 at 19:58

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.