Alcoholism pp 57-69 | Cite as

The Molecular Pathology of Alcoholic Liver Disease: An Overview

  • S. W. French
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 206)


The primary event which characterizes the beginning of ethanol alteration of hepatocytes is the effect ethanol has on the signal transduction systems. Through interaction of the receptor G protein and catalytic enzymes located in the plasma membrane ethanol alters the homeostasis of the cell. The signal transduction is either enhanced or inhibited by the action of alcohol, usually through the action of ethanol on the alpha subunit of the G protein. To understand these relationships it is important to have a basic concept of signal transduction (Fig. 1) (Gilman, 1989): agonist receptor interaction leads to replacement of GDP by GTP in the alpha sub segment of the G protein which then activates catalytic proteins such as adenylyl cyclase or phospholipase C or ion channels.


Alcohol Liver Disease Chronic Ethanol Alcoholic Hepatitis Homocysteine Methyl Transferase Phorbol Dibutyrate 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. W. French
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pathology Faculty of MedicineUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada

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