Characterization of Alcohol Dehydrogenase
For Student Groups

Detoxification is an important function of the enzymes, the biochemical catalysts of our body. In this course the students monitor the alcohol degradation by the metabolic enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) using a photometer and thereby determine important functional characteristics of this enzyme.

Book Characterization of ADH

16 to 20 years
1 day
Maximum number of participants


  • Breath Test – Qualitative alcohol detection
  • Blood alcohol test – Reaction rate as a function of the substrate concentration
  • Substrate specificity of the ADH reaction (methanol, ethanol, propanol, butanol)
  • Regulation of the ADH reaction

Proteins have many functions in our body. One of the most important is biocatalysis by enzymes. In this course the students measure how change in experimental conditions influences the rate of alcohol degradation using a photometer, and thus learn important characteristics of the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH). In particular, substrate dependence (determination of the alcohol content of artificial blood samples), substrate specificity and various regulatory mechanisms (competitive, allosteric) are investigated.

The course can be supplemented by determining the maximum reaction rate, the Michaelis constant and the enzyme activity.