What is the role of aldehyde dehydrogenase in protecting the heart?

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Offline srobert

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I've been catching up on Naked Scientist podcasts and just listened to one from September where a researcher was discussing their work which increased the activity of Aldehyde Dehydrogenase and this helped reduce the risk from heart attacks and it made me wonder if this relates to the mechanism by which drinking alcohol in moderate amounts helps prevent heart disease.

Ethanal (Acetaldehyde) is a metabolite of ethanol, so I'm guessing that aldehyde dehydrogenase is involved in the metabolism of this alcohol by-product. Therefore by drinking alcohol and therefore producing aldehyde does this prompt the body to produce more, or more active, aldehyde dehydrogenase which then helps to prevent heart disease by the mechanism being discussed on the show?


« Last Edit: 08/11/2008 17:50:18 by chris »


Offline chris

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Hi Stephen

that's what the data suggest, yes. In vivo the enzyme removes toxic aldehyde species produced by metabolic stress, including nonanal. The upregulation of the enzyme is achieved by increasing the half life of the mRNA that encodes the protein, thus increasing the amount of available enzyme for detoxification. Ethanol produces ethanal, also a substrate for the enzyme, and one presumes that this is the trigger for upregulation.

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