Effect of Ethanol on Hepatic Secretory Proteins

  • Dean J. Tuma
  • Michael F. Sorrell


Both acute and chronic ethanol administration inhibit the secretion of albumin and glycoproteins from the liver. Impairment of posttranslational steps of the secretory process are mainly involved in this secretory defect, although in some instances altered synthesis of the protein moiety may be a factor. Decreased secretion following ethanol administration results in the intrahepatic retention of export proteins. The secretory defect is a consequence of the metabolism of ethanol and is likely mediated via acetaldehyde, although more conclusive proof is still required. The manner by which acetaldehyde impairs the secretory process is unknown, but may be related to its high reactivity with hepatocellular proteins. The specific posttranslational steps or processes involved in the secretory defect are still unclear; however, it appears that the final steps of secretion (post-Golgi events) may be the primary site of impairment. Impaired secretion of proteins from the liver could contribute to altered levels of plasma proteins and hepatomegaly as well as to the liver injury observed in the alcoholic.


Alcoholic Liver Disease Secretory Vesicle Chronic Ethanol Liver Slice Secretory Process 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dean J. Tuma
    • 1
    • 2
  • Michael F. Sorrell
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Liver Study UnitVeterans Administration Medical CenterOmahaUSA
  2. 2.Departments of Internal Medicine and BiochemistryUniversity of Nebraska Medical CenterOmahaUSA

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