Prokaryotic carbonic anhydrases of earth’s environment

R. Siva Sai Kumar, James G. Ferry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Carbonic anhydrase is a metalloenzyme catalyzing the reversible hydration of carbon dioxide to bicarbonate. Five independently evolved classes have been described for which one or more are found in nearly every cell type underscoring the general importance of this ubiquitous enzyme in Nature. The bulk of research to date has centered on the enzymes from mammals and plants with less emphasis on prokaryotes. Prokaryotic carbonic anhydrases play important roles in the ecology of Earth’s biosphere including acquisition of CO2 for photosynthesis and the physiology of aerobic and anaerobic prokaryotes decomposing the photosynthate back to CO2 thereby closing the global carbon cycle. This review focuses on the physiology and biochemistry of carbonic anhydrases from prokaryotes belonging to the domains Bacteria and Archaea that play key roles in the ecology of Earth’s biosphere.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-87
Number of pages11
JournalSub-cellular biochemistry
StatePublished - 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology
  • Cancer Research


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