The Journal of biological chemistry

Genomic structure and expression of the ADH7 gene encoding human class IV alcohol dehydrogenase, the form most efficient for retinol metabolism in vitro.

PMID 7876191


Human alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) consists of a family of five evolutionarily related classes of enzymes that collectively function in the metabolism of a wide variety of alcohols including ethanol and retinol. Class IV ADH has been found to be the most active as a retinol dehydrogenase, thus it may participate in retinoic acid synthesis. The gene encoding class IV ADH (ADH7) has now been cloned and subjected to molecular examination. Southern blot analysis indicated that class IV ADH is encoded by a single unique gene and has no related pseudogenes. The class IV ADH gene is divided into nine exons, consistent with the highly conserved intron/exon structure of other mammalian ADH genes. The predicted amino acid sequence of the exon coding regions indicates that a protein of 373 amino acids, excluding the amino-terminal methionine, would be translated, sharing greater sequence identity with class I ADH (69%) than with classes II, III or V (59-61%). Expression of class IV ADH mRNA was detected in human stomach but not liver. This correlates with previous protein studies, which have indicated that class IV ADH is the major stomach ADH but unlike other ADHs is absent from liver. Primer extension studies using human stomach RNA were performed to identify the transcription initiation site lying 100 base pairs upstream of the ATG translation start codon. Nucleotide sequence analysis of the promoter region indicated the absence of a TATA box sequence often located about 25 base pairs upstream of the start site as well as the absence of GC boxes, which are quite often seen in promoters lacking a TATA box. The class IV ADH promoter thus differs from the other ADH promoters, which contain either a TATA box (classes I and II) or GC-boxes (class III), suggesting a fundamentally different form of transcriptional regulation.