Alcoholism pp 101-106 | Cite as

Physiological Role of Aldehyde Dehydrogenase (EC

  • Regina Pietruszko
  • Gloria Kurys
  • Wojciech Ambroziak
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 206)


In living organisms, aldehydes occur as common metabolites; some are metabolized by substrate-specific enzymes, others by enzymes with broader substrate specificity. Both specific and non-specific enzymes are active with acetaldehyde as substrate (Pietruszko, 1989). Aldehyde dehydrogenase (EC from human liver and brain as well as some specific enzymes including glutamic-γ-semialdehyde dehydrogenase (EC from human liver (Forte-McRobbie and Pietruszko, 1986) and glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (Ryzlak and Pietruszko, 1988a) (EC and succinic semialdehyde dehydrogenase (Ryzlak and Pietruszko, 1988b) (EC from human brain have been recently purified to homogeneity in our laboratory. Aldehyde dehydrogenase (EC which metabolizes ethanol-derived acetaldehyde has a broad substrate specificity which includes a variety of aldehyde structures (Pietruszko, 1989) Among physiologically occurring aldehydes, biogenic aldehydes derived from dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine (MacKerrell et al., 1986) as well as aldehyde metabolites of corticosteroids (Martin and Monder, 1978; Monder et al., 1982) are substrates for this enzyme. The Michaelis constants are low micromolar values, suggesting that the enzyme may be important in biogenic amine and corticosteroid metabolism. More recently it has been established that γ-aminobutyraldehyde, is also a substrate (Ambroziak and Pietruszko, 1987; Kurys et al., 1989). All the above compounds are important physiological intermediates: biogenic aldehydes arise from biogenic amines which are hormones and/or neurotransmitters and aldehydes themselves are thought to have some hormonal activity (Tipton et al., 1977). γ-Aminobutyraldehyde is an oxidative metabolite of an amine, putrescine, which via aldehyde dehydrogenase, is converted to γ-aminobutyric acid, a known inhibitory neurotransmitter. Putrescine itself is an important intermediate in the synthesis of the polyamines spermidine and spermine which are essential for development and differentiation (Tabor and Tabor, 1984).


Human Liver Biogenic Amine Aldehyde Dehydrogenase Broad Substrate Specificity Semialdehyde Dehydrogenase 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Regina Pietruszko
    • 1
  • Gloria Kurys
    • 1
  • Wojciech Ambroziak
    • 1
  1. 1.Center of Alcohol StudiesRutgers UniversityPiscatawayUSA

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