Enzymes, which oxidize in the energy metabolism cycle alcohol in presence of the coenzyme NAD to acetaldehyde. Occurrence of ADH is in the liver, in addition, in the digestive tract (gastroenterale ADH) as well as in yeasts. Yeast ADH is used as enzyme for blood alcohol determination, see ADH procedure.
Genetically human ADH is present at 5 different gene loci (called ADH1 to ADH5), whereby ADH2 and ADH3 form 3 sub-groups (polymorphisme). The individual ADH enzymes differ in their activity concerning ethanol oxidation up to a factor of 1000.
Itis so far not yet clearly clarified whether ADH defects have an influence on the development of alcoholism.