Microsomal Ethanol Oxidizing System

Chronic administration of ethanol with nutritionally adequate diets increases clearance of ethanol from the blood. In 1968, the MEOS was identified. The MEOS has a higher Km for ethanol (8-10mmol/l) than ADH (0.2-2.0 mmol/l) so at low BEC, ADH is more important. However, unlike the other pathways, MEOS is highly inducible by chronic alcohol consumption. The key enzyme of the MEOS is cytochrome P4502E1 (CYP2E1). Chronic alcohol use is associated with a 4- to 10-fold increase of CYP2E1 due to increases in mRNA levels and rate of translation.

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