This study was supported by grants from the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (AA06434 to D. W.C., AA06460 to H.J.E. and AA02342 and AA07611 to T.-K.L.), the National Science Council, Taiwan (NSC82-0412-BOl6-077Y to S.-J.Y.), and the Alcoholic Beverages Medical Research Foundation (to D. W.C.).
Low Frequency of the ADH2*2 Allele among Atayal Natives of Taiwan with Alcohol Use Disorders
Version of Record online: 11 APR 2006
Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Volume 18, Issue 3, pages 640–643, June 1994
How to Cite
Thomasson, H. R., Crabb, D. W., Edenberg, H. J., Li, T.-K., Hwu, H.-G., Chen, C.-C., Yeh, E.-K. and Yin, S.-J. (1994), Low Frequency of the ADH2*2 Allele among Atayal Natives of Taiwan with Alcohol Use Disorders. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 18: 640–643. doi: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.1994.tb00923.x
- Issue online: 11 APR 2006
- Version of Record online: 11 APR 2006
- Received for publication September 20, 1993: accepted December 6, 1993
- Alcohol Dehydrogenase;
- Aldehyde Dehydrogenase;
- Allele Frequencies;
- Indigenous People
Genetic variation at two polymorphic alcohol dehydrogenase loci, ADH2 and ADH3, and at the polymorphic mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenase locus, ALDH2, may influence the risk of developing alcoholism by modulating the rate of elimination of ethanol and the rate of formation and elimination of acetaldehyde. Populations differ in allele frequencies at these loci. We determined the genotypes at all three of these loci in Atayal natives of Taiwan. The frequencies of ADH2′2, ADH3′1, and ALDH2′1 alleles (0.91, 0.99, and 0.95, respectively) were significantly higher among the Atayal than among a predominantly Han Chinese population from Taiwan. Among the Atayal, the group with alcohol use disorders (alcohol dependence and alcohol abuse) had a significantly lower frequency of the ADH2′2 allele (0.82) than those without alcohol use disorders (0.91). The ADH2*2 allele encodes the β2 subunit; isozymes containing β2 sub-units oxidize alcohol faster in vitro than the β1β1 isozyme encoded by ADH2*1. Thus, the simplest explanation for these data is that individuals with a β2 isozymes have a higher rate of ethanol oxidation, which is a deterrent to alcohol abuse and dependence in some individuals. The Atayal with alcohol use disorders also had a lower frequency of ALDH2*2 than the controls; this allele is known to be responsible for the alcohol-flush reaction among Asians, and thereby deters drinking.