Ethanol-impaired hepatic protein trafficking: Concepts from the asialoglycoprotein receptor system

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14 Scopus citations


Objectives: Alcohol abuse with its resulting liver injury is a major health problem worldwide. Recent studies have shown that the process of receptor-mediated endocytosis (RME) is especially susceptible to the deleterious effects of ethanol. Design and methods: In our laboratory, we have shown that after as early as 1 week of ethanol administration, binding, internalization and degradation of asialoorosomucoid, a ligand for the asialoglycoprotein receptor (ASGP-R), is significantly impaired. We have also demonstrated that ethanol administration impairs ATP-dependent acidification of prelysosomal endosomes. Results: These impairments are seen using ligands internalized by the non-specific process of fluid phase endocytosis as well as those internalized by coated pit endocytosis. In addition, we have identified ethanol-induced alterations in post-translational modifications of the receptor including phosphorylation and fatty acid modification (palmitoylation). Conclusions: Impaired function of this receptor could lead to alterations of membrane internalization events after ethanol administration and contribute to ethanol-induced alterations in protein trafficking and signaling in the liver.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)557-561
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Biochemistry
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1999


  • Alcohol
  • Endocytosis
  • Hepatocytes
  • Liver
  • Protein trafficking
  • Receptor-mediated endocytosis
  • Receptors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry


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