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1.  Alcohol Intake and Blood Pressure: A Systematic Review Implementing a Mendelian Randomization Approach 
PLoS Medicine  2008;5(3):e52.
Alcohol has been reported to be a common and modifiable risk factor for hypertension. However, observational studies are subject to confounding by other behavioural and sociodemographic factors, while clinical trials are difficult to implement and have limited follow-up time. Mendelian randomization can provide robust evidence on the nature of this association by use of a common polymorphism in aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) as a surrogate for measuring alcohol consumption. ALDH2 encodes a major enzyme involved in alcohol metabolism. Individuals homozygous for the null variant (*2*2) experience adverse symptoms when drinking alcohol and consequently drink considerably less alcohol than wild-type homozygotes (*1*1) or heterozygotes. We hypothesise that this polymorphism may influence the risk of hypertension by affecting alcohol drinking behaviour.
Methods and Findings
We carried out fixed effect meta-analyses of the ALDH2 genotype with blood pressure (five studies, n = 7,658) and hypertension (three studies, n = 4,219) using studies identified via systematic review. In males, we obtained an overall odds ratio of 2.42 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.66–3.55, p = 4.8 × 10−6) for hypertension comparing *1*1 with *2*2 homozygotes and an odds ratio of 1.72 (95% CI 1.17–2.52, p = 0.006) comparing heterozygotes (surrogate for moderate drinkers) with *2*2 homozygotes. Systolic blood pressure was 7.44 mmHg (95% CI 5.39–9.49, p = 1.1 × 10−12) greater among *1*1 than among *2*2 homozygotes, and 4.24 mmHg (95% CI 2.18–6.31, p = 0.00005) greater among heterozygotes than among *2*2 homozygotes.
These findings support the hypothesis that alcohol intake has a marked effect on blood pressure and the risk of hypertension.
Using a mendelian randomization approach Sarah Lewis and colleagues find strong support for the hypothesis that alcohol intake has a marked effect on blood pressure and the risk of hypertension.
Editors' Summary
High blood pressure (hypertension) is a common medical condition that affects nearly a third of US and UK adults. Hypertension has no symptoms but can lead to heart attacks or strokes. It is diagnosed by measuring blood pressure—the force that blood moving around the body exerts on the inside of large blood vessels. Blood pressure is highest when the heart is pumping out blood (systolic pressure) and lowest when it is filling up with blood (diastolic pressure). Normal blood pressure is defined as a systolic pressure of less than 130 millimeters of mercury (mmHg) and a diastolic pressure of less than 85 mmHg (a blood pressure of 130/85). A reading of more than 140/90 indicates hypertension. Many factors affect blood pressure, but overweight people and individuals who eat too much salty or fatty foods are at high risk of developing hypertension. Mild hypertension can often be corrected by lifestyle changes, but many people also take antihypertensive drugs to reduce their blood pressure.
Why Was This Study Done?
Another modifiable lifestyle factor thought to affect blood pressure is alcohol intake. Observational studies that ask people about their drinking habits and measure their blood pressure suggest that alcohol intake correlates with blood pressure, but they cannot prove a causal link because of “confounding”—other risk factors associated with alcohol drinking, such as diet, might also affect the study participant's blood pressures. A trial that randomly assigns people to different alcohol intakes could provide this proof of causality, but such a trial is impractical. In this study, therefore, the researchers have used “Mendelian randomization” to investigate whether alcohol intake affects blood pressure. An inactive variant of aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2; the enzyme that removes alcohol from the body) has been identified. People who inherit the variant form of this gene from both parents have an ALDH2 *2*2 genotype (genetic makeup) and become flushed and nauseated after drinking. Consequently, they drink less than people with a *1*2 genotype and much less than those with a *1*1 genotype. Because inheritance of these genetic variants does not affect lifestyle factors other than alcohol intake, an association between ALDH2 genotypes and blood pressure would indicate that alcohol intake has an effect on blood pressure without any confounding.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers identified ten published studies (mainly done in Japan where the ALDH2 gene variant is common) on associations between ALDH2 genotype and blood pressure or hypertension using a detailed search protocol (a “systematic review”). A meta-analysis (a statistical method for combining the results of independent studies) of the studies that had investigated the association between ALDH2 genotype and hypertension showed that men with the *1*1 genotype (highest alcohol intake) and those with the *1*2 genotype (intermediate alcohol intake) were 2.42 and 1.72 times more likely, respectively, to have hypertension than those with the *2*2 genotype (lowest alcohol intake). There was no association between ALDH2 genotype and hypertension among the women in these studies because they drank very little. Systolic and diastolic blood pressures showed a similar relationship to ALDH2 genotype in a second meta-analysis of relevant studies. Finally, the researchers estimated that for men the lifetime effect of drinking 1 g of alcohol a day (one unit of alcohol contains 8 g of alcohol in the UK and 14 g in the US; recommended daily limits in these countries are 3–4 and 1–2 units, respectively) would be an increase in systolic blood pressure of 0.24 mmHg.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings support the suggestion that alcohol has a marked effect on blood pressure and hypertension. Consequently, some cases of hypertension could be prevented by encouraging people to reduce their daily alcohol intake. Although the Mendelian randomization approach avoids most of the confounding intrinsic to observational studies, it is possible that a gene near ALDH2 that has no effect on alcohol intake affects blood pressure, since genes are often inherited in blocks. Alternatively, ALDH2 could affect blood pressure independent of alcohol intake. The possibility that ALDH2 could effect blood pressure independently of alcohol is intake made unlikely by the fact that no effect of genotype on blood pressure is seen among women who drink very little. Additional large-scale studies are needed to address these possibilities, to confirm the current finding in more people, and to improve the estimates of the effect that alcohol intake has on blood pressure.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
The MedlinePlus encyclopedia has a page on hypertension (in English and Spanish)
The American Heart Association provides information for patients and health professionals about hypertension
The UK Blood Pressure Association provides information for patients and health professionals on all aspects of hypertension, including information about alcohol affects blood pressure
The Explore@Bristol science center (a UK charity) provides an alcohol unit calculator and information on the effects of alcohol
The International Center for Alcohol Policies provides drinking guidelines for countries around the world
PMCID: PMC2265305  PMID: 18318597
2.  Genetic polymorphisms in cytochrome P4502E1, alcohol and aldehyde dehydrogenases and the risk of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma in Gansu Chinese males 
AIM: To evaluate the association between genetic polymorphisms in CYP2E1, ALDH2 and ADH1B and the risk of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) in a high risk area of Gansu Province, in Chinese males.
METHODS: A case-control study was conducted to investigate the genetic polymorphisms of these enzymes (CYP2E1*c1/*c2, ALDH2*1/*2 and ADH1B *1/*1 genotypes). A total of 80 esophageal cancer cases and 480 controls were recruited.
RESULTS: Compared with controls, cases had a greater prevalence of heavier alcohol consumption (53.8% vs 16.2%) and a higher proportion of alcohol drinkers with > 30 drink-years (28.8% vs 13.5%). Heavier alcohol consumption and alcohol drinking with > 30 drink-years increased the risk of ESCC, with ORs (95% CI) of 3.20 (1.32-9.65) and 1.68 (0.96-3.21). CYP2E1 (*c1/*c1), ALDH2 (*1/*2) and ADH1B (*1/*1) genotype frequencies were higher among patients with squamous cell carcinomas, at a level close to statistical significance (P = 0.014; P = 0.094; P = 0.0001 respectively). There were synergistic interactions among alcohol drinking and ALDH2, ADH1B and CYP2E1 genotypes. The risk of the ESCC in moderate-to-heavy drinkers with an inactive ALDH2 encoded by ALDH2*1/*2 as well as ADH1B encoded by ADH1B *1/*1 and CYP2E1 encoded by CYP2E1 *c1/*c1 was higher than that in the never/rare-to-light drinkers with an active ALDH2 (*1/*1 genotype) as well as ADH1B (*1/*2 + *2/*2) and CYP2E1 (*c1/*c2 + *c2/*c2) genotypes, with a statistically significant difference; ORs (95% CI) of 8.58 (3.28-22.68), 27.12 (8.52-70.19) and 7.64 (2.82-11.31) respectively. The risk of the ESCC in moderate-to-heavy drinkers with ALDH2 (*1/*2) combined the ADH1B (*1/*1) genotype or ALDH2 (*1/*2) combined the CYP2E1 (*c1/*c1) genotype leads to synergistic interactions, higher than drinkers with ALDH2 (*1/*1) + ADH1B (*1/*2 + *2/*2), ALDH2 (*1/*1) + CYP2E1 (*c1/*c2 + *c2/*c2) respectively , ORs (95% CI) of 7.46 (3.28-18.32) and 6.82 (1.44-9.76) respectively. Individuals with the ADH1B combined the CYP2E1 genotype showed no synergistic interaction.
CONCLUSION: In our study, we found that alcohol consumption and polymorphisms in the CYP2E1, ADH1B and ALDH2 genes are important risk factors for ESCC, and that there was a synergistic interaction among polymorphisms in the CYP2E1, ALDH2 and ADH1B genes and heavy alcohol drinking, in Chinese males living in Gansu Province, China.
PMCID: PMC2693697  PMID: 18322963
Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma; Cytochromes P4502E1; Alcohol dehydrogenases; Aldehyde dehydrogenases; Genetic polymorphisms
3.  The role of ALDH2 and ADH1B polymorphism in alcohol consumption and stroke in Han Chinese 
Human Genomics  2011;5(6):569-576.
The genes encoding the enzymes for metabolising alcohol dehydrogenase 1B (ADH1B) and aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) -- exhibit genetic polymorphism and ethnic variations. Although the ALDH2*2 variant allele has been widely accepted as protecting against the development of alcoholism in Asians, the association of the ADH1B*2 variant allele with drinking behaviour remains inconclusive. The goal of this study was to determine whether the polymorphic ADH1B and ALDH2 genes are associated with stroke in male Han Chinese with high alcohol consumption. Sixty-five stroke patients with a history of heavy drinking (HDS) and 83 stroke patients without such a history (NHDS) were recruited for analysis of the ADH1B and ALDH2 genotypes from the stroke registry in the Tri-Service General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan, between January 2000 and December 2001. The allelotypes of ADH1B and ALDH2 were determined using the polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism method. The HDS patients (3 per cent) showed a significantly lower ALDH2*2 allele frequency than NHDS patients (27 per cent) (p < 0.001). After controlling for age, patients with HDS were associated with a significantly higher occurrence of cigarette smoking (p < 0.01) and liver dysfunction (p < 0.01). Multiple logistic regression analyses revealed that the ALDH2*2 variant allele was an independent variable exhibiting strong protection (odds ratio 0.072; 95 per cent confidence interval 0.02-0.26) against HDS after adjustment for hypertension, diabetes mellitus, smoking status and liver dysfunction. By contrast, allelic variations in ADH1B exerted no significant effect on HDS. The present study indicated that, unlike ALDH2*2, ADH1B*2 appears not to be a significant negative risk factor for high alcohol consumption in male Han Chinese with stroke.
PMCID: PMC3525250  PMID: 22155604
alcohol dehydrogenase; aldehyde dehydrogenase; Han Chinese; stroke; high alcohol consumption; allelic variation
4.  Polymorphisms of alcohol dehydrogenase 2 and aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 and colorectal cancer risk in Chinese males 
AIM: To evaluate the relationship between drinking and polymorphisms of alcohol dehydrogenase 2 (ADH2) and/or aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) for risk of colorectal cancer (CRC) in Chinese males.
METHODS: A case-control study was conducted in 190 cases and 223 population-based controls. ADH2 Arg47His (G-A) and ALDH2 Glu487Lys (G-A) genotypes were identified by PCR and denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography (DHPLC). Information on smoking and drinking was collected and odds ratio (OR) was estimated.
RESULTS: The ADH2 A/A and ALDH2 G/G genotypes showed moderately increased CRC risk. The age- and smoking-adjusted OR for ADH2 A/A relative to G/A and G/G was 1.60 (95% CI=1.08-2.36), and the adjusted OR for ALDH2 G/G relative to G/A and A/A was 1.79 (95% CI=1.19-2.69). Significant interactions between ADH2, ALDH2 and drinking were observed. As compared to the subjects with ADH2 G and ALDH2 A alleles, those with ADH2 A/A and ALDH2 G/G genotypes had a significantly increased OR (3.05, 95% CI= 1.67-5.57). The OR for CRC among drinkers with the ADH2 A/A genotype was increased to 3.44 (95% CI= 1.84-6.42) compared with non-drinkers with the ADH2 G allele. The OR for CRC among drinkers with the ALDH2 G/G genotype was also increased to 2.70 (95% CI= 1.57-4.66) compared with non-drinkers with the ALDH2 A allele.
CONCLUSION: Polymorphisms of the ADH2 and ALDH2 genes are significantly associated with CRC risk. There are also significant gene-gene and gene-environment interactions between drinking and ADH2 and ALDH2 polymorphisms regarding CRC risk in Chinese males.
PMCID: PMC2742938  PMID: 18763293
Alcohol dehydrogenase 2; Aldehyde dehydrogenase 2; Gene polymorphisms; Alcohol drinking; Colorectal cancer
5.  Haplotype-Based Study of the Association of Alcohol Metabolizing Genes with Alcohol Dependence in Four Independent Populations 
Ethanol is metabolized by two rate limiting reactions: alcohol dehydrogenases (ADH) convert ethanol to acetaldehyde, subsequently metabolized to acetate by aldehyde dehydrogenases (ALDH). Approximately 50% of East Asians have genetic variants that significantly impair this pathway and influence alcohol dependence (AD) vulnerability. We investigated whether variation in alcohol metabolism genes might alter the AD risk in four non-East Asian populations by performing systematic haplotype association analyses in order to maximize the chances of capturing functional variation.
Haplotype-tagging SNPs were genotyped using the Illumina GoldenGate platform. Genotypes were available for 40 SNPs across the ADH genes cluster and 24 SNPs across the two ALDH genes in four diverse samples that included cases (lifetime AD) and controls (no Axis 1 disorders). The case, control sample sizes were: Finnish Caucasians: 232, 194; African Americans: 267, 422; Plains American Indians: 226, 110; Southwestern American (SW) Indians: 317, 72.
In all four populations, as well as HapMap populations, five haplotype blocks were identified across the ADH gene cluster: (1) ADH5-ADH4; (2) ADH6-ADH1A-ADH1B; (3) ADH1C; (4) intergenic; (5) ADH7. The ALDH1A1 gene was defined by four blocks and ALDH2 by one block. No haplotype or SNP association results were significant after correction for multiple comparisons; however several results, particularly for ALDH1A1 and ADH4, replicated earlier findings. There was an ALDH1A1 block 1 and 2 (extending from intron 5 to the 3′ UTR) yin yang haplotype (haplotypes that have opposite allelic configuration) association with AD in the Finns driven by SNPs rs3764435 and rs2303317 respectively, and an ALDH1A1 block 3 (including the promoter region) yin yang haplotype association in SW Indians driven by 5 SNPs, all in allelic identity. The ADH4 SNP rs3762894 was associated with AD in Plains Indians.
The systematic evaluation of alcohol metabolizing genes in four non-East Asian populations has shown only modest associations with AD, largely for ALDH1A1 and ADH4. A concentration of signals for AD with ALDH1A1 yin yang haplotypes in several populations warrants further study.
PMCID: PMC3026908  PMID: 21083667
Alcohol dependence; alcohol dehydrogenases (ADH); aldehyde dehydrogenases (ALDH); haplotype association; ALDH1A1
6.  Polymorphisms of alcohol dehydrogenase-2 and aldehyde dehydrogenase-2 and esophageal cancer risk in Southeast Chinese males 
AIM: To evaluate the impact of alcohol dehydrogenase-2 (ADH2) and aldehyde dehydrogenase-2 (ALDH2) polymorphisms on esophageal cancer susceptibility in Southeast Chinese males.
METHODS: Two hundred and twenty-one esophageal cancer patients and 191 healthy controls from Taixing city in Jiangsu Province were enrolled in this study. ADH2 and ALDH2 genotypes were examined by polymerase chain reaction and denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography. Unconditional logistic regression was used to calculate the odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI).
RESULTS: The ADH G allele carriers were more susceptible to esophageal cancer, but no association was found between ADH2 genotypes and risk of esophageal cancer when disregarding alcohol drinking status. Regardless of ADH2 genotype, ALDH2G/A or A/A carriers had significantly increased risk of developing esophageal cancer, with homozygous individuals showing higher esophageal cancer risk than those who were heterozygous. A significant interaction between ALDH2 and drinking was detected regarding esophageal cancer risk; the OR was 3.05 (95% CI: 1.49-6.25). Compared with non-drinkers carrying both ALDH2 G/G and ADH2 A/A, drinkers carrying both ALDH2 A allele and ADH2 G allele showed a significantly higher risk of developing esophageal cancer (OR = 8.36, 95% CI: 2.98-23.46).
CONCLUSION: Both ADH2 G allele and ALDH2 A allele significantly increase the risk of esophageal cancer development in Southeast Chinese males. ALDH2 A allele significantly increases the risk of esophageal cancer development especially in alcohol drinkers. Alcohol drinkers carrying both ADH2 G allele and ALDH2 A allele have a higher risk of developing esophageal cancer.
PMCID: PMC2684609  PMID: 19452585
Alcohol dehydrogenase-2; Aldehyde dehydrogenase-2; Gene polymorphisms; Alcohol drinking; Esophageal cancer
7.  Effect of alcohol and aldehyde dehydrogenase gene polymorphisms on alcohol-associated hypertension: the Guangzhou Biobank Cohort Study 
Hypertension Research  2013;36(8):741-746.
The effects of alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) 2 and aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) 2 genotypes on the alcohol–blood pressure association are unclear. We examined the association of ADH2 or ALDH2 genotypes with blood pressure in older Chinese men. Based on the Guangzhou Biobank Cohort Study (GBCS), 4792 men with valid ADH2, ALDH2 genotypes were included, and genotyping of rs1229984 ADH2 and rs671 ALDH2 (AA, AG/GA or GG) was performed using a Sequenom Mass-Array platform. Information on socio-demographics and lifestyle factors, including alcohol use, was obtained from a questionnaire, and blood pressure was measured. Among alcohol drinkers, systolic and diastolic blood pressure (SBP and DBP) and mean arterial pressure (MAP) were highest for men with the GG ADH2 genotype (136.6, 77.9 and 97.5 mm Hg, respectively), followed by those with the (AA/AG ADH2+GG ALDH2) genotype (133.4, 77.6 and 96.2 mm Hg, respectively) and then the (AA/AG ADH2+AA/AG ALDH2) genotype (SBP=132.6, DBP=76.6 and MAP=95.2 mm Hg) (P for trend ranged 0.025–0.035). After adjustment for potential confounders, as well as frequency or amount of alcohol use, men with the GG ADH2 genotype were more likely to have hypertension (odds ratio (OR)=1.62, 95% confidence interval 1.15–2.28) as were men with the (AA/AG ADH2+AA/AG ALDH2) genotype (OR=1.40, 95% confidence interval 1.01–1.96) compared with men with the (AA/AG ADH2+GG ALDH2) genotype). ADH2 or ALDH2 genotypes were unrelated to hypertension among those who never drink alcohol. ADH2 genotype influences blood pressure and risk of hypertension among male alcohol drinkers, suggesting that the hypertensive effect of alcohol is due to ethanol rather than acetaldehyde.
PMCID: PMC3734527  PMID: 23615284
alcohol; aldehyde dehydrogenase gene polymorphisms; blood pressure
8.  Genetic polymorphisms of ADH2 and ALDH2 association with esophageal cancer risk in southwest China 
AIM: To evaluate the impact of alcohol dehydrogenase 2 (ADH2) and aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) polymorphisms on esophageal cancer risk.
METHODS: One hundred and ninety-one esophageal cancer patients and 198 healthy controls from Yanting County were enrolled in this study. ADH2 and ALDH2 genotypes were examined by polymerase-chain-reaction with the confronting-two-pair-primer (PCR-CTPP) method. Unconditional logistic regression was used to calculate the odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence interval (95% CI).
RESULTS: Both ADH2*1 allele and ALDH2*1/*2 allele showed an increased risk of developing esophageal cancer. The adjusted OR (95% CI) for ADH2*1 allele compared with ADH2*2/*2 was 1.65 (95% CI = 1.02-2.68) and 1.67 (95% CI = 1.02-2.72) for ALDH2*1/*2 compared with ALDH2*1/*1. A significant interaction between ALDH2 and drinking was detected regarding esophageal cancer risk, the OR was 1.83 (95% CI = 1.13-2.95). Furthermore, when compared with ADH2*2/*2 and ALDH2*1/*1 carriers, ADH2*1 and ALDH2*2 carriers showed an elevated risk of developing esophageal cancer among non-alcohol drinkers (OR = 2.46, 95% CI = 0.98-6.14), and a significantly elevated risk of developing esophageal cancer among alcohol drinkers among alcohol drinkers (OR = 9.86, 95% CI = 3.10-31.38).
CONCLUSION: ADH2 and ALDH2 genotypes are associated with esophageal cancer risk. ADH2*1 allele and ALDH2*2 allele carriers have a much higher risk of developing esophageal cancer, especially among alcohol drinkers.
PMCID: PMC4171265  PMID: 17963305
Esophageal cancer; Alcohol dehydrogenase 2; Aldehyde dehydrogenase 2; Genetic polymorphisms
9.  Relationship between genetic polymorphisms of ALDH2 and ADH1B and esophageal cancer risk: A meta-analysis 
AIM: To evaluate the contribution of alcohol dehydrogenase-1B (ADH1B) and aldehyde dehydrogenase-2 (ALDH2) polymorphisms to the risk of esophageal cancer.
METHODS: Nineteen articles were included by searching MEDLINE, EMBASE and the Chinese Biomedical Database, 13 on ADH1B and 18 on ALDH2. We performed a meta-analysis of case-control studies including 13 studies on ADH1B (cases/controls: 2390/7100) and 18 studies on ALDH2 (2631/6030).
RESULTS: The crude odds ratio [OR (95% confidence interval)] was 2.91 (2.04-4.14) for ADH1B*1/*1 (vs ADH1B*2/*2) and 1.32 (1.17-1.49) for ADH1B*1/*2. The crude OR for ALDH2*1/*2 (vs ALDH2*1/*1) was 2.52 (1.76-3.61). ADH1B*1/*1 increased the risk of esophageal cancer among never/rare [1.56 (0.93-2.61)], moderate [2.71 (1.37-5.35)], and heavy drinkers [3.22 (2.27-4.57)]. ADH1B*1/*2 was associated with a modest risk among moderate drinkers [1.43 (1.09-1.87)]. ALDH2*1/*2 increased the risk among never/rare [1.28 (0.91-1.80)], moderate [3.12 (1.95-5.01)], and heavy [7.12 (4.67-10.86)] drinkers, and among ex-drinkers [5.64 (1.57-20.25)]. ALDH2*2/*2 increased the risk among drinkers [4.42 (1.72-11.36)]. ADH1B*1/*1 plus ALDH2*1/*2 was associated with the highest risk for heavy drinkers [12.45 (2.9-53.46)]. The results of the meta-regression analysis showed that the effects of ADH1B*1/*1 and ALDH2*1/*2 increased with the level of alcohol consumption. ALDH2*1/*2 was associated with a high risk among Taiwan Chinese and Japanese drinkers, as opposed to a moderate risk among drinkers in high-incidence regions of Mainland China. ADH1B*1/*1 in heavy drinkers and ALDH2*1/*2 in moderate-to-heavy drinkers was associated with similarly high risk among both men and women.
CONCLUSION: ADH1B/ALDH2 genotypes affect the risk of esophageal cancer, and the risk is modified by alcohol consumption, ethnicity, and gender.
PMCID: PMC2932928  PMID: 20806441
Alcohol dehydrogenase-1B; Aldehyde dehydrogenase-2; Esophageal cancer; Meta-analysis
10.  DNA polymorphism and risk of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma in a population of North Xinjiang, China 
AIM: To investigate the role of metabolic enzyme and DNA repair genes in susceptibility of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC).
METHODS: A case-control study was designed with 454 samples from 128 ESCC patients and 326 gender, age and ethnicity-matched control subjects. Genotypes of 69 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of metabolic enzyme (aldehyde dehydrogenase-2, ALDH2; alcohol dehydrogenase-1 B, ADHB1; Cytochrome P450 2A6, CYP2A6) and DNA repair capacity genes (excision repair cross complementing group 1, ERCC1; O6-methylguanine DNA methyltransferase, MGMT; xeroderma pigmentosum group A, XPA; xeroderma pigmentosum group A, XPD) were determined by the Sequenom MassARRAY system, and results were analyzed using unconditional logistic regression adjusted for age, gender.
RESULTS: There was no association between the variation in the ERCC1, XPA, ADHB1 genes and ESCC risk. Increased risk of ESCC was suggested in ALDH2 for frequency of presence C allele of SNP [Rs886205: 1.626 (1.158-2.284)], XPD for C allele [Rs50872: 1.482 (1.058-2.074)], and MGMT for A allele [Rs11016897: 1.666 (1.245-2.228)]. Five variants of MGMT were associated with a protective effect on ESCC carcinogenesis, including C allele [Rs7069143: 0.698 (0.518-0.939)], C allele [Rs3793909: 0.653 (0.429-0.995)], A allele [Rs12771882: 0.719 (0.524-0.986)], C allele [Rs551491: 0.707 (0.529-0.945)], and A allele [Rs7071825: 0.618 (0.506-0.910)]. At the genotype level, increased risk of ESCC carcinogenesis was found in homozygous carriers of the ALDH2 Rs886205 [CC vs TT, odds ratios (OR): 3.116, 95% CI: 1.179-8.234], MGMT Rs11016879 (AA vs GG, OR: 3.112, 95% CI: 1.565-6.181), Rs12771882 (AA vs GG, OR: 2.442, 95% CI: 1.204-4.595), and heterozygotes carriers of the ALDH2 Rs886205 (CT vs TT, OR: 3.930, 95% CI: 1.470-10.504), MGMT Rs11016879 (AG vs GG, OR: 3.933, 95% CI: 2.216-6.982) and Rs7075748 (CT vs CC, OR: 1.949, 95% CI: 1.134-3.350), respectively. Three variants were associated with a protective effect on ESCC carcinogenesis, carriers of the MGMT Rs11016878 (AG vs AA, OR: 0.388, 95% CI: 0.180-0.836), Rs7069143(CT vs CC, OR: 0.478, 95% CI: 0.303-0.754) and Rs7071825 (GG vs AA, OR: 0.493, 95% CI: 0.266-0.915). Increased risk of ESCC metastasis was indicated in MGMT for frequency of presence C allele [Rs7068306: 2.204 (1.244-3.906)], A allele [Rs10734088: 1.968 (1.111-3.484)] and C allele [Rs4751115: 2.178 (1.251-3.791)]. Two variants in frequency of presence C allele of CYP2A6 [Rs8192720: 0.290 (0.099-0.855)] and A allele of MGMT [Rs2053139: 0.511 (0.289-0.903)] were associated with a protective effect on ESCC progression. Increased risk of ESCC metastasis was found in heterozygote carriers of the MGMT Rs7068306 (CG vs CC, OR: 4.706, 95% CI: 1.872-11.833).
CONCLUSION: Polymorphic variation in ALDH2, XPD and MGMT genes may be of importance for ESCC susceptibility. Polymorphic variation in CYP2A6 and MGMT are associated with ESCC metastasis.
PMCID: PMC2816280  PMID: 20128036
Esophageal cancer; Metabolic enzyme gene; DNA repair gene; Carcinogenesis; Metastasis
11.  Sex-specific differences in the association of a common aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 gene polymorphism and alcohol consumption with stroke risk in a Korean population: a prospective cohort study 
It is well-known that alcohol consumption is associated with stroke risk as well as with aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 gene (ALDH2) polymorphisms. However, it is unclear whether ALDH2 polymorphisms are associated with stroke risk independent of alcohol consumption and whether such association is modified by sex. We evaluated sex-specific associations of a common ALDH2 polymorphism and alcohol consumption with stroke risk in a Korean population.
We conducted a prospective cohort study involving 8,465 men and women, aged 40-69 years and free of stroke between June, 2001 and January, 2003, and followed for the development of stroke. We identified new cases of stroke, which were self-reported or ascertained from vital registration data. Based on genome-wide association data, we selected a single-nucleotide polymorphism (rs2074356), which shows high linkage disequilibrium with the functional polymorphism of ALDH2. We conducted Cox proportional hazards regression analysis considering potential risk factors collected from a baseline questionnaire.
Over the median follow-up of 8 years, 121 cases of stroke were identified. Carrying the wild-type allele of the ALDH2 polymorphism increased stroke risk among men. The multivariate hazard ratio [95% confidence interval] of stroke was 2.02 [1.03-3.99] for the wild-type allele compared with the mutant alleles, but the association was attenuated after controlling for alcohol consumption. Combinations of the wild-type allele and other risk factors of stroke, such as old age, diabetes mellitus, and habitual snoring, synergistically increased the risk among men. Among women, however, the ALDH2 polymorphism was not associated with stroke risk.
The prospective cohort study showed a significant association between a common ALDH2 polymorphism and stroke risk in Korean men, but not in Korean women, and also demonstrated that men with genetic disadvantages gain more risk when having risk factors of stroke. Thus, these men may need to make more concerted efforts to control modifiable risk factors of stroke.
PMCID: PMC4317484
ALDH2 polymorphism; alcohol consumption; stroke; prospective study
12.  Ethnic Differences in Level of Response to Alcohol Between Chinese Americans and Korean Americans* 
Koreans have higher rates of alcohol-use disorders and family history of alcoholism, compared with Chinese. These differences likely reflect both environmental and genetic influences. One genetically influenced characteristic that may contribute to these ethnic differences is level of response to alcohol. Variant alleles of aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH2) and alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH1B) genes are prevalent in individuals of Asian heritage and have been associated with an increased level of response to alcohol and a decreased risk for alcohol dependence. Additionally, a low level of response to alcohol is more common in individuals with a first-degree family history of alcoholism and is predictive of increased risk for this disorder. It also is possible that sociocultural factors have an impact on an individual’s response to alcohol. The current study examined self-report level of response to alcohol, ALDH2 and ADH1B, country of origin, and family history of alcoholism in 154 Chinese- and 181 Korean-American college students.
Participants were evaluated via in-person interviews and genotyped at the ALDH2 and ADH1B loci.
Ethnicity was significantly related to level of response to alcohol, with Koreans having a lower self-reported level of response than Chinese. This relationship remained significant after considering the effects of gender, height, weight, quantity and frequency of alcohol consumption (over the previous 90 days), ALDH2 genotype, ADH1B genotype, country of origin, and first-degree family history of alcohol dependence.
The results suggest that a low level of response to alcohol may contribute to the increased risk for alcohol abuse and dependence found in Koreans, relative to Chinese. More research is needed to determine additional factors that may be contributing to the low alcohol response and high rates of alcoholism in Koreans.
PMCID: PMC2739570  PMID: 18299763
13.  Meta-analysis of ADH1B and ALDH2 polymorphisms and esophageal cancer risk in China 
AIM: To evaluate whether alcohol dehydrogenase-1B (ADH1B) His47Arg and aldehyde dehydrogenase-2 (ALDH2) Glu487Lys polymorphism is involved in the esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) risk in Chinese Han population.
METHODS: Seven studies of ADH1B and ALDH2 genotypes in Chinese Han population in 1450 cases and 2459 controls were included for meta-analysis. Stratified analyses were carried out to determine the gene-alcohol and gene-gene interaction with ESCC risk. Potential sources of heterogeneity between studies were explored, and publication bias was also evaluated.
RESULTS: Individuals with ADH1B arginine (Arg)/Arg genotype showed 3.95-fold increased ESCC risk in the recessive genetic model [Arg/Arg vs Arg/histidine (His) + His/His: odds ratio (OR) = 3.95, 95% confidence interval (CI): 2.76-5.67]. Significant association was found in the dominant model for ALDH2 lysine (Lys) allele [glutamate (Glu)/Lys + Lys/Lys vs Glu/Glu: OR = 2.00, 95% CI: 1.54-2.61]. Compared with the non-alcoholics, Arg/Arg (OR = 25.20, 95% CI: 10.87-53.44) and Glu/Lys + Lys/Lys (OR = 21.47, 95% CI: 6.44-71.59) were found to interact with alcohol drinking to increase the ESCC risk. ADH1B Arg+ and ALDH2 Lys+ had a higher risk for ESCC (OR = 7.09, 95% CI: 2.16-23.33).
CONCLUSION: The genetic variations of ADH1B His47Arg and ALDH2 Glu487Lys are susceptible loci for ESCC in Chinese Han population and interact substantially with alcohol consumption. The individuals carrying both risky genotypes have a higher baseline risk of ESCC.
PMCID: PMC3007115  PMID: 21157980
Esophageal cancer; Alcohol metabolizing enzyme genes; Polymorphism; Susceptibility
14.  Association of the ALDH1A1*2 promoter polymorphism with alcohol phenotypes in young adults with or without ALDH2*2 
Prior studies suggest a possible association of a promoter polymorphism in the ALDH1A1 gene (ALDH1A1*2) with alcohol use or dependence. The aim of this study was to examine the association of ALDH1A1*2 with drinking behaviors in Asian young adults and to examine ALDH2 genotype as a potential moderator of these associations.
Asian young adults (n = 951) were recruited from two college sites for studies of genetic associations with alcohol use behavior. Participants completed comprehensive background questionnaires on demographics and drinking behavior. Fingertip blood samples were obtained for DNA extraction and analysis.
Participants with the ALDH2*1/*2 genotype reported significantly lower levels (frequency and quantity) of drinking within the last 90 days, fewer numbers of heavy drinking episodes within the last 90 days, and lower lifetime maximum consumption levels, compared with ALDH2*1/*1 participants. There were no significant main effects of ALDH1A1*2 on any drinking variables, nor was there a significant interaction of ALDH2 and ALDH1A1 genotypes on drinking outcomes.
The association of ALDH2*2 and reduced alcohol consumption replicates previous findings across numerous studies. Although ALDH1A1*2 was not associated with drinking levels, the lack of an ALDH1A1*2 effect in ALDH2*2 individuals is consistent with the only other study that has examined these associations in East Asian populations.
PMCID: PMC3440549  PMID: 22591209
Alcohol use; Aldehyde dehydrogenase; Asian ethnicity; Genetic polymorphisms; Drinking behavior
15.  Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms of ADH1B, ADH1C and ALDH2 Genes and Esophageal Cancer: A Population-Based Case-Control Study in China 
Alcohol drinking is a major risk factor for esophageal cancer (EC) and the metabolism of ethanol has been suggested to play an important role in esophageal carcinogenesis. Epidemiologic studies, including genome-wide association studies (GWAS), have identified single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in alcohol dehydrogenases (ADHs) and aldehyde dehydrogenases (ALDHs) to be associated with esophageal cancer. Using a population-based case-control study with 858 EC cases and 1,081 controls conducted in Jiangsu Province, China, we aimed to provide further information on the association of ADH1B (rs1229984), ADH1C (rs698) and ALDH2 (rs671) polymorphisms with esophageal cancer in a Chinese population. Results showed that ADH1B (rs1229984) was associated with EC with odds ratios (ORs) of 1.34 (95% confidence interval: 1.08-1.66) for G-allele carriers compared to A/A homozygotes. No heterogeneity was detected on this association across different strata of alcohol drinking and tobacco smoking. Statistical interactions between ALDH2 (rs671) and alcohol drinking on EC susceptibility in both additive and multiplicative scales were observed. Compared to G/G homozygotes, A-allele carriers were positively associated with EC among moderate/heavy drinkers (OR=1.64, 1.12-2.40) and inversely associated with EC among never/light drinks (OR=0.75, 0.54-1.03). In addition, statistical interaction between ALDH2 and ADH1B polymorphisms on EC susceptibility among never/light drinkers was indicated. We did not observe association of ADH1C polymorphism with EC. In conclusion, our findings indicated that ADH1B (rs1229984) was associated with esophageal cancer independent of alcohol drinking and tobacco smoking status and alcohol drinking interacted with ALDH2 (rs671) on esophageal cancer susceptibility in this high-risk Chinese population.
PMCID: PMC4122263  PMID: 22930414
alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH); aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH); alcohol; single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP); esophageal cancer
16.  Synergistic Association between Two Alcohol Metabolism Relevant Genes and Coronary Artery Disease among Chinese Hypertensive Patients 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(7):e103161.
Coronary artery disease (CAD) is a multifactorial and polygenic disease. The aim of this study was to examine the association between six polymorphisms of four alcohol metabolism relevant genes (ADH1B, ADH1C, ALDH1b1, ALDH2) and the risk of CAD in Han Chinese.
Methods and Results
This was a hospital-based case-control study involving 1365 hypertensive patients. All study subjects were angiographically confirmed. Genotypes were determined with ligase detection reaction method. There was no observable deviation from the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium for six examined polymorphisms in controls. The genotype and allele distributions of ALDH1b1 rs2073478 and ALDH2 rs671 polymorphisms differed significantly between the two groups (P≤0.005), even after the Bonferroni correction. The most common allele combination was A-C-C-G-C-G (alleles in order of rs1229984, rs1693482, rs2228093, rs2073478, rs886205, rs671) and its frequency was slightly higher in controls than in CAD patients (P = 0.067). After assigning the most common allele combination as a reference, allele combination A-C-C-T-C-A, which simultaneously possessed the risk alleles of rs2073478 and rs671 polymorphisms, was associated with a 1.80-fold greater risk of CAD. Further, a two-locus model including rs2073478 and rs671 that had a maximal testing accuracy of 0.598 and a cross-validation consistency of 10 (P = 0.008) was deemed as the overall best MDR model, which was further validated by classical Logistic regression model.
Our findings provide clear evidence for both individual and interactive associations of ALDH1b1 and ALDH2 genes with the development of CAD in Han Chinese.
PMCID: PMC4105442  PMID: 25047496
17.  Psychosocial, Cultural and Genetic Influences on Alcohol Use in Asian American Youth* 
Journal of studies on alcohol  2005;66(2):185-195.
Environmental and cultural factors, as well as a genetic variant of the aldehyde dehydrogenase gene (the ALDH2*2 allele) have been identified as correlates of alcohol use among Asian Americans. However, concurrent examination of these variables has been rare. The present study assessed parental alcohol use, acculturation and ALDH2 gene status in relation to lifetime, current and heavy episodic drinking among Chinese and Korean American undergraduates.
Participants (N = 428, 51% women; 52% Chinese American, age 18–19 years) were first-year college students in a longitudinal study of substance use initiation and progression. Data were collected via structured interview and self-report, and participants provided a blood sample for genotyping at the ALDH2 locus.
Gender, parental alcohol use and acculturation significantly predicted drinking behavior. However, none of the hypothesized moderating relationships were significant. In contrast with previous studies, ALDH2 gene status was not associated with alcohol use.
Results indicate that although the variables examined influence alcohol use, moderating effects were not observed in the present sample of Asian American college students. Findings further suggest that the established association ALDH2 status and drinking behavior in Asians may not be evident in late adolescence. It is possible that ALDH2 status is associated with alcohol consumption only following initiation and increased drinking experience.
PMCID: PMC2749922  PMID: 15957669
18.  ALDH2 and ADH1B Interactions in Retrospective Reports of Low-Dose Reactions and Initial Sensitivity to Alcohol in Asian American College Students 
A mechanistic model has been proposed for how alcohol metabolizing gene variants protect individuals from the development of alcohol use disorders, with heightened sensitivity to alcohol being an early step (endophenotype) in this model. The present study was designed to determine whether possession of two alcohol metabolizing genes variations, the aldehyde dehydrogenase ALDH2*2 allele and the alcohol dehydrogenase ADH1B*2 allele, was associated with self-reported sensitivity to alcohol at low doses and at initial use.
Asian-American college students (N = 784) of Chinese and Korean descent were genotyped at the ALDH2 and ADH1B loci and assessed for lifetime alcohol symptoms following one or two drinks and level of response to alcohol during the first five lifetime drinking episodes.
Participants who had an ALDH2*2 allele were more likely to report experiencing all six low-dose symptoms and having heightened initial response to alcohol. An interaction was found between ALDH2*2 and ADH1B*2, with ADH1B*2 being associated with heightened self-reported sensitivity to alcohol only in individuals who also possessed one ALDH2*2 allele.
These findings suggest the effects of ADH1B*2 may be felt more strongly in Asians who already have some heightened sensitivity to alcohol from possessing one ALDH2*2 allele, but who are not too sensitized to alcohol from possessing two ALDH2*2 alleles. These results offer additional insight into the discrepant findings that have been reported in the literature for the role of ADH1B*2 in response to alcohol and the development of alcohol-related problems.
PMCID: PMC3116988  PMID: 21355870
ALDH2; ADH1B; alcohol metabolizing genes; gene-gene interaction; alcohol sensitivity; subjective response to alcohol
19.  ALDH2 Genotype Has No Effect on Salivary Acetaldehyde without the Presence of Ethanol in the Systemic Circulation 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e74418.
Acetaldehyde associated with alcoholic beverages was recently classified as carcinogenic (Group 1) to humans based on uniform epidemiological and biochemical evidence. ALDH2 (aldehyde dehydrogenase 2) deficient alcohol consumers are exposed to high concentrations of salivary acetaldehyde and have an increased risk of upper digestive tract cancer. However, this interaction is not seen among ALDH2 deficient non-drinkers or rare drinkers, regardless of their smoking status or consumption of edibles containing ethanol or acetaldehyde. Therefore, the aim of this study was to examine the effect of the ALDH2 genotype on the exposure to locally formed acetaldehyde via the saliva without ethanol ingestion.
The ALDH2 genotypes of 17 subjects were determined by PCR-RFLP. The subjects rinsed out their mouths with 5 ml of 40 vol% alcohol for 5 seconds. Salivary ethanol and acetaldehyde levels were measured by gas chromatography.
Acetaldehyde reached mutagenic levels rapidly and the exposure continued for up to 20 minutes. The mean salivary acetaldehyde concentrations did not differ between ALDH2 genotypes.
For ALDH2 deficient subjects, an elevated exposure to endogenously formed acetaldehyde requires the presence of ethanol in the systemic circulation.
Our findings provide a logical explanation for how there is an increased incidence of upper digestive tract cancers among ALDH2 deficient alcohol drinkers, but not among those ALDH2 deficient subjects who are locally exposed to acetaldehyde without bloodborne ethanol being delivered to the saliva. Thus, ALDH2 deficient alcohol drinkers provide a human model for increased local exposure to acetaldehyde derived from the salivary glands.
PMCID: PMC3772811  PMID: 24058561
20.  Developmental Trajectory and Environmental Moderation of the Effect of ALDH2 Polymorphism on Alcohol Use 
In the aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) gene, the ALDH2*2 allele, prevalent in East Asian populations, encodes an enzyme with severely reduced activity, thereby disrupting the normal metabolism of alcohol. Possession of the ALDH2*2 allele has been repeatedly shown to be associated with lower risk for alcohol dependence, and reduced alcohol use. However, relatively few studies have considered whether the magnitude of the effect of ALDH2 polymorphism upon drinking is related to developmental stage, or varies by environmental context.
In a longitudinally assessed sample of 356 adopted adolescents and young adults of East Asian descent, we examined the progression over time of the relationship between ALDH2 genotype and multiple measures of drinking behavior. We also sought to determine whether the environmental influences of non-biological parent and elder sibling alcohol use and misuse, as well as deviant peer behavior, moderated the effect of ALDH2 genotype upon alcohol use.
Across all measures of alcohol use, the association between ALDH2*2 allele possession and reduced drinking went from negligible to moderate between mid-adolescence and early adulthood. A combined index of adoptive parent alcohol use and misuse consistently moderated the protective effect of the ALDH2*2 allele across measures of quantity and frequency of alcohol use, and symptomology, such that high parental alcohol use and misuse reduced the protective effect of the ALDH2*2 allele, while low parental alcohol use and misuse enhanced the effect of the allele. Neither a combined index of elder sibling alcohol use and misuse, nor deviant peer behavior were consistently related to the effect of ALDH2 genotype.
The protective effect of the ALDH2*2 allele increases over the course of adolescence and young adulthood and is modified by the environmental influence of parental alcohol use and misuse. As such, ALDH2 provides a model system for exploring the nature of gene-environment interplay across development.
PMCID: PMC3416945  PMID: 22563891
Gene-environment Interplay; Aldehyde Dehydrogenase; ALDH2; Adoption; Asian-Americans
21.  Role of GABRA2 in Moderating Subjective Responses to Alcohol 
Human twin studies have shown that certain responses to alcohol, including subjective perceptions, are genetically influenced. Previous studies have provided evidence that a low level of response to alcohol predicts future alcohol use disorders in humans. Recent genetic studies suggest an association between alcohol dependence and genetic variation in the γ-aminobutyric acid A (GABAA) receptor α2 subunit gene (GABRA2). Based on a haplotypic association of alcohol dependence with GABRA2, we investigated whether GABRA2 alleles are associated with the subjective responses to clamped alcohol concentration.
One hundred and ten healthy social drinkers (53 men) underwent the alcohol clamp. Fifteen minutes after the start of an intravenous infusion of alcohol, the breath alcohol concentration was clamped at a target of 50 ± 5 mg/dl for 165 minutes. Subjective physiologic responses to alcohol and stimulant and sedative effects of alcohol were measured repeatedly during the alcohol clamp. Because aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) has been shown to have a great impact on the subjective responses to alcohol, we divided subjects by ALDH2 genotype for further analyses. To examine the role of genetic variation in GABRA2, 7 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that were informative in association studies were included as factors in the analysis.
Among these 7 SNPs, 3 SNPs (rs279869, rs279858, and rs279837) located in the middle of the GABRA2 gene showed significant associations with subjective effects of alcohol. Subjects with 1 or 2 copies of the more common allele showed greater subjective responses to alcohol than did individuals homozygous for the alcohol dependence–associated allele regardless of ALDH2 genotype.
These findings confirm and extend the observation that the GABRA2 alleles affect the subjective responses to alcohol, and suggest that the genetic variations in GABRA2 might play a role in the risk of alcohol use disorders by moderating the subjective effects of alcohol.
PMCID: PMC3472524  PMID: 21118274
GABA; GABRA2; Alcohol; Subjective Response; Alcohol Clamping; ALDH2
22.  Association between aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 polymorphisms and the incidence of diabetic retinopathy among Japanese subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus 
Mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) detoxifies reactive aldehydes in the micro- and macrovasculature. These substrates, including methylglyoxal and 4-hydroxynonenal formed from glucose and lipids, cause protein carbonylation and mitochondrial dysfunction, forming advanced glycation end products (AGEs). The present study aimed to confirm the association between the inactive ALDH2*2 allele and diabetic retinopathy (DR).
A retrospective longitudinal analysis was conducted, among 234 Japanese patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) (156 males and 78 females) who had no DR signs at baseline and were treated for more than half a year. The ALDH2*1/*2 alleles were determined using a real-time TaqMan allelic discrimination assay. Multivariate-adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidential intervals (CIs) for the cumulative incidence of the development of DR were examined using a Cox proportional hazard model, taking drinking habits and the serum γ-glutamyltransferase (GGT) level into consideration.
The frequency of the ALDH2*2 allele was 22.3%. Fifty-two subjects cumulatively developed DR during the follow-up period of 5.5 ± 2.5 years. The ALDH2*2 allele carriers had a significantly higher incidence of DR than the non-carriers (HR: 1.92; P = 0.02). The incidence of DR was significantly higher in the drinkers with the ALDH2*2 allele than in those with the ALDH2*1/*1 genotype (HR: 2.61; P = 0.03), while the incidence of DR in the non-drinkers did not differ significantly between the ALDH2 genotype groups (P > 0.05). The incidence of DR was significantly higher in the ALDH2*2 allele carriers with a high GGT level than in the non-carriers with a high or low GGT level (HR: 2.45; P = 0.03; and HR: 2.63; P = 0.03, respectively).
To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of a significant association between the ALDH2*2 allele and the incidence of DR. These findings provide additional evidence that ALDH2 protects both microvasculature and macrovasculature against reactive aldehydes generated under conditions of sustained oxidative stress, although further investigations in larger cohorts are needed to verify the results.
PMCID: PMC3847457  PMID: 24028448
Advanced glycation end products; Alcohol drinking; Aldehyde dehydrogenase 2; Diabetic retinopathy; Diabetic angiopathy; γ-glutamyltransferase; Oxidative stress; Type 2 diabetes mellitus
23.  Joint Effects of Alcohol Consumption and Polymorphisms in Alcohol and Oxidative Stress Metabolism Genes on Risk of Head and Neck Cancer 
Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in alcohol metabolism genes are associated with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN), and may influence cancer risk in conjunction with alcohol. Genetic variation in the oxidative stress pathway may impact the carcinogenic effect of reactive oxygen species produced by ethanol metabolism. We hypothesized that alcohol interacts with these pathways to affect SCCHN incidence.
Interview and genotyping data for 64 SNPs were obtained from 2552 European- and African-American subjects (1227 cases, 1325 controls) from the Carolina Head and Neck Cancer Epidemiology study, a population-based case-control study of SCCHN conducted in North Carolina from 2002–2006. We estimated odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals for SNPs and haplotypes, adjusting for age, sex, race, and duration of cigarette smoking. P-values were adjusted for multiple testing using Bonferroni correction.
Two SNPs were associated with SCCHN risk: ADH1B rs1229984 A allele (OR=0.7, 95%CI=0.6–0.9) and ALDH2 rs2238151 C allele (OR=1.2, 95%CI=1.1–1.4). Three were associated with sub-site tumors: ADH1B rs17028834 C allele (larynx, OR=1.5, 95%CI=1.1–2.0), SOD2 rs4342445 A allele (oral cavity, OR=1.3, 95%CI=1.1–1.6), and SOD2 rs5746134 T allele (hypopharynx, OR=2.1, 95%CI=1.2–3.7). Four SNPs in alcohol metabolism genes interacted additively with alcohol consumption: ALDH2 rs2238151, ADH1B rs1159918, ADH7 rs1154460, and CYP2E1 rs2249695. No alcohol interactions were found for oxidative stress SNPs.
Conclusions and Impact
Previously unreported associations of SNPs in ALDH2, CYP2E1, GPX2, SOD1, and SOD2 with SCCHN and sub-site tumors provide evidence that alterations in alcohol and oxidative stress pathways influence SCCHN carcinogenesis, and warrant further investigation.
PMCID: PMC3210881  PMID: 21940907
Head and Neck Neoplasms; Head and Neck Neoplasms/epidemiology; Gene-environment interaction; Alcohol Drinking/metabolism; Oxidative Stress
24.  The role of aldehyde dehydrogenase-1 (ALDH1A1) polymorphisms in harmful alcohol consumption in a Finnish population 
Human Genomics  2008;3(1):24-35.
Liver cystolic aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 (ALDH1A1) has been previously associated with both alcohol dependence and alcohol consumption behaviour, and has been implicated in alcohol-induced flushing and alcohol sensitivity in Caucasians. The present study tested for association between ALDH1A1 and alcohol consumption behaviour and susceptibility to problem drinking or alcohol dependence in Finnish cohorts of unrelated male subjects recruited from alcoholism clinical treatment facilities (n = 104) and from the general population (n = 201). All participants completed the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT) and were genotyped for eight single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within or flanking ALDH1A1. To test for association between alcohol consumption behaviour and these polymorphisms, we used generalised linear models and haplotypic analysis. Three SNPs were nominally associated (rs348449, p = 0.043; rs610529, p = 0.013; rs348479, p = 0.025) with the quantitative AUDIT score, which evaluates alcohol consumption behaviour. Two-locus (rs6I0529-rs2288087) haplotype analysis increased the strength of association with AUDIT score (p = 0.00I5). Additionally, rs348449 is highly associated with problem drinking (allelic odds ratio [OR] 7.87, 95 per cent confidence interval [CI] 1.67-37.01) but due to the low minor allele frequency (0.01 and 0.07 in controls and problem drinkers, respectively), more samples are required to validate this observation. Conversely, rs348479 (p = 0.019) and rs6I0529 (allelic OR 0.65, 95 per cent CI 0.43-0.98; genotypic OR 0.32, 95 per cent CI 0.12-0.84) are implicated in alcohol dependence status. This study provides further evidence for a role for ALDH1A1 in alcohol consumption behaviour, including problem drinking and possibly alcohol dependence, in our Finnish population.
PMCID: PMC3525184  PMID: 19129088
acetaldehyde; ALDH1A1; alcohol use; alcohol abuse; alcohol dependence; association; single nucleotide polymorphism
25.  Associations of ALDH2 and ADH1B Genotypes With Alcohol-Related Phenotypes in Asian Young Adults 
Associations of ALDH2 and ADH1B genotypes with alcohol use have been evaluated largely using case–control studies, which typically focus on adult samples and dichotomous diagnostic outcomes. Relatively fewer studies have evaluated ALDH2 and ADH1B in relation to continuous drinking outcomes or at different developmental stages. This study examined additive and interactive effects of ALDH2 and ADH1B genotypes on drinking behavior in a mixed-gender sample of Asian young adults, focusing on continuous phenotypes (e.g., heavy episodic and hazardous drinking, alcohol sensitivity, drinking consequences) whose expression is expected to precede the onset of alcohol use disorders.
The sample included 182 Chinese- and Korean-American young adults ages 18 years and older (mean age = 20 years). Effects of ALDH2, ADH1B and ethnicity were estimated using generalized linear modeling.
The ALDH2*2 allele predicted lower reported rates of alcohol use and drinking consequences as well as greater reported sensitivity to alcohol. There were significant ethnic group differences in drinking outcomes, such that Korean ethnicity predicted higher drinking rates and lower alcohol sensitivity. ADH1B status was not significantly related to drinking outcomes.
Ethnicity and ALDH2 status, but not ADH1B status, consistently explained significant variance in alcohol consumption in this relatively young sample. Results extend previous work by showing an association of ALDH2 genotype with drinking consequences. Findings are discussed in the context of possible developmental and population differences in the influence of ALDH2 and ADH1B variations on alcohol-related phenotypes.
PMCID: PMC2878767  PMID: 19298323
Alcohol Dehydrogenase; Aldehyde Dehydrogenase; Alcohol Use; Asian-Americans; Generalized Linear Modeling

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