Short Communications

Human Genetics

, Volume 88, Issue 3, pp 344-346

First online:

Distribution of ADH2 and ALDH2 genotypes in different populations

  • H. W. GoeddeAffiliated withInstitut für Humangenetik der Universität, Universität Hamburg
  • , D. P. AgarwalAffiliated withInstitut für Humangenetik der Universität, Universität Hamburg
  • , G. FritzeAffiliated withInstitut für Humangenetik der Universität, Universität Hamburg
  • , D. Meier-TackmannAffiliated withInstitut für Humangenetik der Universität, Universität Hamburg
  • , S. SinghAffiliated withInstitut für Humangenetik der Universität, Universität Hamburg
  • , G. BeckmannAffiliated withDepartment of Medical Genetics, University of Umea
  • , K. BhatiaAffiliated withPapua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research
  • , L. Z. ChenAffiliated withCytogenetics Unit, Adelaide Children's Hospital
  • , B. FangAffiliated withInstitute of Basic Medical Sciences
    • , R. LiskerAffiliated withDepartment of Genetics, National Institute of Nutrition
    • , Y. K. PaikAffiliated withDepartment of Genetics, Hanyang University School of Medicine
    • , F. RothhammerAffiliated withDepartment of Genetics, University of Chile
    • , N. SahaAffiliated withDivision of Human Genetics, Department of Pediatrics, National University Hospital
    • , B. SegalAffiliated withSchool of Health Sciences, University of Alaska
    • , L. M. SrivastavaAffiliated withDepartment of Biochemistry, All India Institute of Medical Sciences
    • , A. CzeizelAffiliated withDepartment of Human Genetics, National Institute of Hygiene

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Summary

The distribution of the human liver alcohol dehydrogenase, ADH2, and aldehyde dehydrogenase, ALDH2, genotypes in 21 different populations comprising Mongoloids, Caucasoids, and Negroids was determined by hybridization of the amplified genomic DNA with allele-specific oligonucleotide probes. Whereas the frequency of the ADH 1 2 allele was found to be relatively high in the Caucasoids, Mexican Mestizos, Brazilian Indios, Swedish Lapps, Papua New Guineans and Negroids, the frequency of the ADH 2 2 gene was considerably higher in the Mongoloids and Australian Aborigines. The atypical ALDH2 gene (ALDH22) was found to be extremely rare in Caucasoids, Negroids, Papua New Guineans, Australian Aborigines and Aurocanians (South Chile). In contrast, this mutant gene was found to be widely prevalent among the Mongoloids. Individuals possessing the abnormal ALDH2 gene show alcohol-related sensitivity responses (e.g. facial flushing), have the tendency not to be habitual drinkers, and apparently suffer less from alcoholism and alcohol-related liver disease.