Translational Implications of the Alcohol-Metabolizing Enzymes, Including Cytochrome P450-2E1, in Alcoholic and Nonalcoholic Liver Disease

Byoung Joon Song, Mohammed Akbar, Inho Jo, James P. Hardwick, Mohamed A. Abdelmegeed

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Fat accumulation (hepatic steatosis) in alcoholic and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is a potentially pathologic condition which can progress to steatohepatitis (inflammation), fibrosis, cirrhosis, and carcinogenesis. Many clinically used drugs or some alternative medicine compounds are also known to cause drug-induced liver injury, which can further lead to fulminant liver failure and acute deaths in extreme cases. During liver disease process, certain cytochromes P450 such as the ethanol-inducible cytochrome P450-2E1 (CYP2E1) and CYP4A isozymes can be induced and/or activated by alcohol and/or high-fat diets and pathophysiological conditions such as fasting, obesity, and diabetes. Activation of these P450 isozymes, involved in the metabolism of ethanol, fatty acids, and various drugs, can produce reactive oxygen/nitrogen species directly and/or indirectly, contributing to oxidative modifications of DNA/RNA, proteins and lipids. In addition, aldehyde dehydrogenases including the mitochondrial low Km aldehyde dehydrogenase-2 (ALDH2), responsible for the metabolism of acetaldehyde and lipid aldehydes, can be inactivated by various hepatotoxic agents. These highly reactive acetaldehyde and lipid peroxides, accumulated due to ALDH2 suppression, can interact with cellular macromolecules DNA/RNA, lipids, and proteins, leading to suppression of their normal function, contributing to DNA mutations, endoplasmic reticulum stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, steatosis, and cell death. In this chapter, we specifically review the roles of the alcohol-metabolizing enzymes including the alcohol dehydrogenase, ALDH2, CYP2E1, and other enzymes in promoting liver disease. We also discuss translational research opportunities with natural and/or synthetic antioxidants, which can prevent or delay the onset of inflammation and liver disease.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCytochrome P450 Function and Pharmacological Roles in Inflammation and Cancer, 2015
EditorsJames P. Hardwick
PublisherAcademic Press Inc.
Number of pages70
ISBN (Print)9780128031193
StatePublished - 2015

Publication series

NameAdvances in Pharmacology
ISSN (Print)1054-3589
ISSN (Electronic)1557-8925

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Intramural Program Fund at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. The authors thank Dr. Klaus Gawrisch for his support.


  • ALDH2
  • Alcohol-metabolizing enzymes
  • CYP2E1
  • Liver disease
  • Mitochondrial dysfunction
  • Nitroxidative stress
  • Posttranslational modifications


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