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Rivera-Meza M.,Laboratory of Gene Therapy | Quintanilla M.E.,University of Chile | Tampier L.,University of Chile | Mura C.V.,Millennium Institute for Cell Dynamics and Biotechnology | And 4 more authors.
FASEB Journal | Year: 2010

Humans who carry a point mutation in the gene coding for alcohol dehydrogenase-1B (ADH1B*2; Arg47His) are markedly protected against alcoholism. Although this mutation results in a 100-fold increase in enzyme activity, it has not been reported to cause higher levels of acetaldehyde, a metabolite of ethanol known to deter alcohol intake. Hence, the mechanism by which this mutation confers protection against alcoholism is unknown. To study this protective effect, the wild-type rat cDNA encoding rADH-47Arg was mutated to encode rADH-47His, mimicking the human mutation. The mutated cDNA was incorporated into an adenoviral vector and administered to genetically selected alcohol-preferring rats. The V max of rADH-47His was 6-fold higher (P<0.001) than that of the wild-type rADH-47Arg. Animals transduced with rAdh-47His showed a 90% (P<0.01) increase in liver ADH activity and a 50% reduction (P<0.001) in voluntary ethanol intake. In animals transduced with rAdh-47His, administration of ethanol (1g/kg) produced a short-lived increase of arterial blood acetaldehyde concentration to levels that were 3.5- to 5-fold greater than those in animals transduced with the wild-type rAdh-47Arg vector or with a noncoding vector. This brief increase (burst) in arterial acetaldehyde concentration after ethanol ingestion may constitute the mechanism by which humans carrying the ADH1B*2 allele are protected against alcoholism. © FASEB.

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