General interest question / alcohol metabolism

Bernard Murray bernard at
Fri Feb 18 23:49:41 EST 1994

In article <199402182347.PAA16503 at>, SCHLOSSER at (Paul Schlosser) writes:
> Drinking alcohol causes induction of cytochrome P450 2E1 (in the liver),
> a principle enzyme in alcohol metabolism.  So as your average consumption
> goes up, so does your metabolism.
> Paul Schlosser
> Chemical Industry Institute of Toxicology
> schlosser at

Just thought I'd note that CYP2E1 (aka P450 2E1, aka P450j etc. etc.) is
not limited to the liver but is present in a variety of organs, including
the kidney and some interesting places like the bone marrow.  This is of
some toxicological relevance as alcoholics can be more susceptible to
organ damage by toxins activated by this enzyme (eg. benzene, chloroform,
carbon tetrachloride, nitrosamines).  Further, I would think that CYP2E1 is
only a "principal" enzyme in alcohol metabolism after induction has taken
place as basal levels are very low, but since induction is very rapid
(a few hours) this could happen after every dose of ethanol.
	Just my two penn'orth

Bernard Murray, Ph.D.
bernard at  (National Cancer Institute, NIH, Bethesda MD, USA)

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