South Korean researchers have discovered a way to control liver damage from alcohol. Reactive oxygen produced by alcohol damages the liver causing hepatitis and hepatocirrhosis. Whatever triggers the production of reactive oxygen has for a long time been elusive to scientists. According to Korea’s Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, ERRγ production is catalyzed by alcohol intake which then leads to activation of reactive oxygen species.

Model of Ethyl Alcohol

Model of Ethyl Alcohol

The Korean scientists (drawn from the Korea Research Institute of Bioscience & Biotechnology and Chonnam National University) have confirmed that liver damage is reduced when the nuclear hormone receptors ERRγ is suppressed. This raises possibility of treating and preventing liver damage due to alcohol.

PDB rendering of Estrogen related receptor gamma

PDB rendering of Estrogen related receptor gamma

The findings were published under the title ” Estrogen-related receptor γ controls hepatic CB1 receptor-mediated CYP2E1 expression and oxidative liver injury by alcohol.” and can be found in the international journal Gut.