The alcohol dehydrogenase family of proteins metabolize a wide variety of substrates, including retinol, hydroxysteroids, ethanol, aliphatic alcohols and lipid peroxidation products. ADH5 (alcohol dehydrogenase 5 (class III)), also known as FDH (formaldehyde dehydrogenase), ADHX, ADH-3 or GSNOR, is a 374 amino acid cytoplasmic protein that belongs to the class III subfamily of alcohol dehydrogenases. Expressed ubiquitously, ADH5 uses iron as a cofactor to catalytically oxidize both long-chain primary alcohols and S-hydroxymethyl-glutathione, a product formed spontaneously between formaldehyde and glutathione. ADH5 exists as a homodimer and, via its ability to oxidize S-hydroxymethyl-glutathione and, thus, eliminate formaldehyde, functions as an important component of cellular metabolism.
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