It has been well documented that a variant allele of mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2), ALDH2*2, commonly occurs in East Asians but rarely in other ethnic populations. This unique allelic variation significantly influences drinking behavior and susceptibility to development of alcoholism. Previous structural, functional, and cellular studies indicate that the resulting variant polypeptide subunit K (Lys-487) exerts dominance of null activity and shorter half-life over the tetrameric enzyme molecules in distinct manners. However, the in vivo evidence for the proposed dominance mechanisms remains lacking.
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