Folate-alcohol and cancer pathway hypotheses (WP1589)

Homo sapiens

As described in Hwang, et al., "The interaction of folate and alcohol consumption has been shown to have an antagonistic effect on the risk of oral cancer. Studies have demonstrated that increased intake of folate decreases the risk of oral cancer, while greater alcohol consumption has an opposite effect." This pathway is a hypothetical model for a causal role for P450 2E1 (CYP2E1) and aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 (ALDH1) in oral cancers, implicating folate (via SAM) and alcohol.


Whom , Kristina Hanspers , Alex Pico , Egon Willighagen , and Eric Weitz


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Homo sapiens




Pathway Ontology

disease pathway cancer pathway

Disease Ontology

oral cavity cancer


Label Type Compact URI Comment
THF Metabolite chebi:20506
Cystathionine Metabolite hmdb:HMDB0000099
Methionine Metabolite hmdb:HMDB0000696
SAM Metabolite chemspider:8041295
Acetaldehyde Metabolite hmdb:HMDB0000990
Acetate Metabolite chebi:30089
SAH Metabolite chebi:16680
Homocysteine Metabolite hmdb:HMDB0000742
Folate Metabolite chebi:62501
5,10-Methylene-THF Metabolite hmdb:HMDB0001533
Ethanol Metabolite hmdb:HMDB0000108
5-Methyl THF Metabolite chebi:15641
Cysteine Metabolite hmdb:HMDB0000574
ALDH1A1 GeneProduct ncbigene:216
MTR GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000116984
ALDH1A1 GeneProduct ncbigene:216
C/EBPB GeneProduct ncbigene:1051
CYP2E1 GeneProduct ncbigene:1571
ADH5 GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000197894
CREB1 GeneProduct ncbigene:1385
CYP2E1 GeneProduct ncbigene:1571
ALDH1L1 GeneProduct ncbigene:10840
MTHFR GeneProduct ncbigene:4524
ALDH1L1 GeneProduct ncbigene:10840
CBS GeneProduct ncbigene:875


  1. Alcohol intake and folate antagonism via CYP2E1 and ALDH1: effects on oral carcinogenesis. Hwang PH, Lian L, Zavras AI. Med Hypotheses. 2012 Feb;78(2):197–202. PubMed Europe PMC Scholia