Direct determination of usual (Caucasian-type) and atypical (Oriental-type) alleles of the class I human alcohol dehydrogenase-2 locus

Tohru Ikuta, Akitaka Shibuya, Akira Yoshida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Two types of alleles exist in the human alcohol dehydrogenase-2 (ADH2) locus. The usual ADH(Formula presented.) allele is common in Caucasians, while the atypical ADH(Formula presented.) allele is predominant in Orientals. The ADH(Formula presented.) produces the β2 subunit, which is catalytically far more active than the β1 subunit produced by the ADH(Formula presented.) gene. The racial difference in alcohol-related problems could be related to the genetic differences in ADH and other ethanol-metabolizing enzymes. In order to examine the possibility, a method for determining ADH2 genotypes was developed. Two 21-base synthetic oligonucleotides, one complementary to the usual ADH(Formula presented.) allele and the other complementary to the atypical ADH(Formula presented.) allele, were used as specific probes for in-gel hybridization analysis of human genomic DNA from peripheral blood. Under appropriate hybridization conditions, these two probes can hybridize to their specific complementary alleles and, thus, allow the genotyping of the ADH2 locus. Genotypes of the ADH2 locus of 49 unrelated Japanese individuals were determined. The frequency of the atypical ADH(Formula presented.) gene was found to be 0.71 in the Japanese population examined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)519-525
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical Genetics
Issue number7
StatePublished - Aug 1988
Externally publishedYes


  • alcohol dehydrogenase
  • genotyping
  • hybridization
  • polymorphism
  • synthetic probe

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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