The β and γ classes of carbonic anhydrase

S. A. Zimmerman, J. G. Ferry

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


There are currently five (α,β,γ,δ,ζ) classes of carbonic anhydrases (CA's) of which the α-class from mammalian sources has been studied to a much greater extent compared to the other four classes. Yet, CA's other than the α-class are widely distributed in Nature and play impouarit roles in human health, the global carbon cycle, and industrial applications. In aerobic prokaryotes, β-class CA's are implicated in maintaining internal pH and CO2/bicarbonate balances required for biosynthetic reactions. In anaerobic prokaryotes, β-class CA's are implicawd in the transport of CO2 and bicarbonate across the cytoplasmic membrane that regulates pH and facilitates acquisition of substrates and product removal required for growth. In phototrophic organisms, β-class CA's are particularly important for transport and concentration of CO2 and bicarbonate for photosynthesis. The δ- and ζ-classes are proposed to function in marine diatoms to concentrate CO2 for photosynthesis. Physiological roles for he γ-class are not as well documented; however, the active site arhitecture and catalytic mechanism is well understood as are patterns of inhibition by sulfonamides and anions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)716-721
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Pharmaceutical Design
Issue number7
StatePublished - Mar 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery


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