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Carbonic anhydrase (carbonate dehydratase) is a family of metalloenzymes (enzymes that contain one or more metal atoms as a functional component of the enzyme) that catalyze the rapid conversion of carbon dioxide to bicarbonate and protons, a reaction that occurs rather slowly in the absence of a catalyst. Carbonic anhydrase greatly increases the rate of the reaction, with typical catalytic rates of the different forms of this enzyme ranging between 104 and 106 reactions per second. The active site of most carbonic anhydrases contains a zinc ion.
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Structure and function of CA
Several forms of carbonic anhydrase occur in nature. In the best-studied α-carbonic anhydrase form present in animals, the zinc ion is coordinated by the imidazole rings of 3 histidine residues, His94, His96 and His119. The primary function of the enzyme in animals is to interconvert carbon dioxide and bicarbonate to maintain acid-base balance in blood and other tissues, and to help transport carbon dioxide out of tissues. Plants contain a different form called β-carbonic anhydrase, which, from an evolutionary standpoint, is a distinct enzyme, but participates in the same reaction and also uses a zinc ion in its active site. In plants, carbonic anhydrase helps raise the concentration of CO2 within the chloroplast in order to increase the carboxylation rate of the enzyme Rubisco. This is the reaction that integrates CO2 into organic carbon sugars during photosynthesis, and can use only the CO2 form of carbon, not carbonic acid or bicarbonate.
In 2000, a cadmium-containing carbonic anhydrase was found to be expressed in marine diatoms during zinc limitation. In the open ocean, zinc is often in such low concentrations that it can limit the growth of phytoplankton like diatoms; thus a carbonic anhydrase using a different metal ion would be beneficial in these environments. Before this discovery, cadmium has generally been thought of as a very toxic heavy metal without biological function. As of 2005, this peculiar carbonic anhydrase form hosts the only known beneficial cadmium-dependent biological reaction.
Reaction catalyzed by carbonic anhydrase:
The reverse reaction is also relatively slow (kinetics in the 15-second range), which is why a carbonated drink does not instantly degas when opening the container, but will rapidly degas in one's mouth when carbonic anhydrase is added with saliva.
A zinc prosthetic group in the enzyme is coordinated in three positions by histidine side chains. The fourth coordination position is occupied by water. This causes polarisation of the hydrogen-oxygen bond, making the oxygen slightly more negative, thereby weakening it.
The active site also contains specificity pocket for carbon dioxide, bringing it close to the hydroxide group. This allows the electron rich hydroxide to attack the carbon dioxide, forming bicarbonate.
There are at least five distinct CA families (α, β, γ, δ and ε). These families have no significant amino acid sequence similarity and in most cases are thought to be an example of convergent evolution. The α-CAs are found in humans.
The CA enzymes found in mammals are divided into four broad subgroups, which, in turn consist of several isoforms:
There are three additional "acatalytic" CA isoforms (CA-VIII, CA-X, and CA-XI) (CA8, CA10, CA11) whose functions remain unclear.
Most prokaryotic and plant chloroplast CAs belong to the beta family. Two signature patterns for this family have been identified:
The gamma class of CAs come from methane-producing bacteria that grow in hot springs.
The delta class of CAs has been described in diatoms. The distinction of this class of CA has recently come into question, however.
The epsilon class of CAs occurs exclusively in bacteria in a few chemolithotrophs and marine cyanobacteria that contain cso-carboxysomes. Recent 3-dimensional analyses suggest that ε-CA bears some structural resemblance to β-CA, particularly near the metal ion site. Thus, the two forms may be distantly related, even though the underlying amino acid sequence has since diverged considerably.
Pharmacological agents affecting CA
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Carbonic_anhydrase". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|