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Alcohol Enzyme

January 11, 2010, 5:57 AM
A cure may have been found for a defective alcohol metabolism enzyme that affects and estimated 1 billion people worldwide, according to research by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). “The findings, published Jan. 10, 2010 in the advance online edition of Nature Structural and Molecular Biology, suggest the possibility of a treatment to reduce the health problems associated with the enzyme defect. ‘We recently identified a molecule called Alda-1 that activates the defective enzyme, and in the current study, we determined how this activation is achieved,’ said the study's senior author, Thomas D. Hurley, Ph.D., professor and associate chairman of biochemistry and molecular biology at Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis. Initial investigations of Alda-1 were led by co-author Daria Mochly-Rosen, Ph.D., professor of chemical and systems biology at Stanford University School of Medicine. After alcohol is consumed, it is first metabolized, or broken down, into acetaldehyde, a toxic chemical that causes DNA damage. Aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) is the main enzyme responsible for breaking down acetaldehyde into acetate, a nontoxic metabolite in the body. It also removes other toxic aldehydes that can accumulate in the body.”
 

Alcohol Enzyme

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