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Concept: Carbonic anhydrase


While intermittent hypoxic training (IHT) has been reported to evoke cellular responses via hypoxia inducible factors (HIFs) but without substantial performance benefits in endurance athletes, we hypothesized that repeated sprint training in hypoxia could enhance repeated sprint ability (RSA) performed in normoxia via improved glycolysis and O(2) utilization. 40 trained subjects completed 8 cycling repeated sprint sessions in hypoxia (RSH, 3000 m) or normoxia (RSN, 485 m). Before (Pre-) and after (Post-) training, muscular levels of selected mRNAs were analyzed from resting muscle biopsies and RSA tested until exhaustion (10-s sprint, work-to-rest ratio 1∶2) with muscle perfusion assessed by near-infrared spectroscopy. From Pre- to Post-, the average power output of all sprints in RSA was increased (p<0.01) to the same extent (6% vs 7%, NS) in RSH and in RSN but the number of sprints to exhaustion was increased in RSH (9.4±4.8 vs. 13.0±6.2 sprints, p<0.01) but not in RSN (9.3±4.2 vs. 8.9±3.5). mRNA concentrations of HIF-1α (+55%), carbonic anhydrase III (+35%) and monocarboxylate transporter-4 (+20%) were augmented (p<0.05) whereas mitochondrial transcription factor A (-40%), peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1α (-23%) and monocarboxylate transporter-1 (-36%) were decreased (p<0.01) in RSH only. Besides, the changes in total hemoglobin variations (Δ[tHb]) during sprints throughout RSA test increased to a greater extent (p<0.01) in RSH. Our findings show larger improvement in repeated sprint performance in RSH than in RSN with significant molecular adaptations and larger blood perfusion variations in active muscles.

Concepts: Oxygen, Carbonic anhydrase, Muscular system, Red blood cell, Hemoglobin, Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor, Muscle, Carbon dioxide


Carbonic anhydrase IX (CA IX) is a hypoxia-regulated transmembrane protein over-expressed in various types of human cancer. Recently, a new peptide with affinity for human carbonic anhydrase IX (CaIX-P1) was identified using the phage display technology. Aim of the present study is to characterize the binding site in the sequence of CaIX-P1, in order to optimize the binding and metabolic properties and use it for targeting purposes.

Concepts: Carbon dioxide, Membrane protein, Phage display, Transmembrane protein, DNA, Carbonic anhydrase, Amino acid, Protein


The design of inhibitors specific for one relevant carbonic anhydrase isozyme is the major challenge in the new therapeutic agents development. Comparative computational chemical structure and biological activity relationship studies on a series of carbonic anhydrase II inhibitors, benzenesulfonamide derivatives, bearing pyrimidine moieties are reported in this paper using docking, Linear Interaction Energy (LIE), Metadynamics and Quantitative Structure Activity Relationship (QSAR) methods. The computed binding affinities were compared with the experimental data with the goal to explore strengths and weaknesses of various approaches applied to the investigated carbonic anhydrase/inhibitor system. From the tested methods initially only QSAR showed promising results (R2=0.83-0.89 between experimentally determined versus predicted pKd values.). Possible reasons for this performance were discussed. A modification of the LIE method was suggested which used an alternative LIE-like equation yielding significantly improved results (R2 between the experimentally determined versus the predicted ΔGbind improved from 0.24 to 0.50).

Concepts: Research, Bicarbonate, Carbon dioxide, Sociology, Affinity, Carbonic anhydrase, Chemistry, Scientific method


Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors are used to treat glaucoma and cancers. Carbonic anhydrases perform a crucial role in the conversion of carbon dioxide and water into bicarbonate and protons. However, there is little information about carbonic anhydrase isoforms during the process of ageing. Mitochondrial dysfunction is implicit in ageing brain and muscle. We have interrogated isolated mitochondrial fractions from young adult and middle aged mouse brain and skeletal muscle. We find an increase of tissue specific carbonic anhydrases in mitochondria from middle-aged brain and skeletal muscle. Mitochondrial carbonic anhydrase II was measured in the Purkinje cell degeneration (pcd(5J)) mouse model. In pcd(5J) we find mitochondrial carbonic anhydrase II is also elevated in brain from young adults undergoing a process of neurodegeneration. We show C.elegans exposed to carbonic anhydrase II have a dose related shorter lifespan suggesting that high CAII levels are in themselves life limiting. We show for the first time that the mitochondrial content of brain and skeletal tissue are exposed to significantly higher levels of active carbonic anhydrases as early as in middle-age. Carbonic anhydrases associated with mitochondria could be targeted to specifically modulate age related impairments and disease.

Concepts: Ageing, Middle age, Oxygen, Old age, Young adult, Bicarbonate, Carbon dioxide, Carbonic anhydrase


We describe a so-far unknown route for renaturing denatured enzymes, namely subjecting the denatured enzyme to an oxide sol-gel transition. The phenomenon was revealed in a detailed study of denatured carbonic anhydrase which was subjected to an alumina sol-gel transition, up to the thermally stabilizing entrapment in the final xerogel. Remarkably, not only that the killed enzyme regained its activity during the sol-gel process, but its activity increased to 180% of the native enzyme. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of enhanced activity following by renaturing (a “Phoenix effect”). Kinetic study which revealed a five-orders of magnitude (!) increase in the Arrhenius prefactor upon entrapment compared to solution. Circular dichroism analysis, differential scanning calorimetry, zeta potential analyses as well as synchronous fluorescence measurements, all of which were used to characterize the phenomenon, are consistent with a proposed mechanism which is based on the specific orienting interactions of the active site of the enzyme with respect to the alumina interface and its pores network.

Concepts: Oxygen, Colloid, Thermodynamics, Differential scanning calorimetry, Energy, Carbonic anhydrase, Enzyme inhibitor, Enzyme


The limited flux and selectivities of current carbon dioxide membranes and the high costs associated with conventional absorption-based CO2sequestration call for alternative CO2separation approaches. Here we describe an enzymatically active, ultra-thin, biomimetic membrane enabling CO2capture and separation under ambient pressure and temperature conditions. The membrane comprises a ~18-nm-thick close-packed array of 8 nm diameter hydrophilic pores that stabilize water by capillary condensation and precisely accommodate the metalloenzyme carbonic anhydrase (CA). CA catalyzes the rapid interconversion of CO2and water into carbonic acid. By minimizing diffusional constraints, stabilizing and concentrating CA within the nanopore array to a concentration 10× greater than achievable in solution, our enzymatic liquid membrane separates CO2at room temperature and atmospheric pressure at a rate of 2600 GPU with CO2/N2and CO2/H2selectivities as high as 788 and 1500, respectively, the highest combined flux and selectivity yet reported for ambient condition operation.

Concepts: Metabolism, Oxygen, Gas, Enzyme, PH, Carbonic anhydrase, Bicarbonate, Carbon dioxide


The Root effect is a pH-dependent reduction in hemoglobin-O2 carrying capacity. Specific to ray-finned fishes, the Root effect has been ascribed specialized roles in retinal oxygenation and swimbladder inflation. We report that when rainbow trout are exposed to elevated water carbon dioxide (CO2), red muscle partial pressure of oxygen (PO2) increases by 65%–evidence that Root hemoglobins enhance general tissue O2 delivery during acidotic stress. Inhibiting carbonic anhydrase (CA) in the plasma abolished this effect. We argue that CA activity in muscle capillaries short-circuits red blood cell (RBC) pH regulation. This acidifies RBCs, unloads O2 from hemoglobin, and elevates tissue PO2, which could double O2 delivery with no change in perfusion. This previously undescribed mechanism to enhance O2 delivery during stress may represent the incipient function of Root hemoglobins in fishes.

Concepts: Carbon, Bicarbonate, Carbonic anhydrase, Hemoglobin, Blood, Red blood cell, Oxygen, Carbon dioxide


Carbonic anhydrases (CAs) are ubiquitous, essential enzymes which catalyze the conversion of carbon dioxide and water to bicarbonate and H+ ions. Vertebrate genomes generally contain gene loci for 15-21 different CA isoforms, three of which are enzymatically inactive. CA VI is the only secretory protein of the enzymatically active isoforms. We discovered that non-mammalian CA VI contains a C-terminal pentraxin (PTX) domain, a novel combination for both CAs and PTXs.

Concepts: Proteins, Glucose, Metabolism, Protein, Oxygen, Enzyme, Carbon dioxide, Carbonic anhydrase


Global change is a major threat to the oceans, as it implies temperature increase and acidification. Ocean acidification (OA) involving decreasing pH and changes in seawater carbonate chemistry challenges the capacity of corals to form their skeletons. Despite the large number of studies that have investigated how rates of calcification respond to ocean acidification scenarios, comparatively few studies tackle how ocean acidification impacts the physiological mechanisms that drive calcification itself. The aim of our paper was to determine how the carbonic anhydrases, which play a major role in calcification, are potentially regulated by ocean acidification. For this we measured the effect of pH on enzyme activity of two carbonic anhydrase isoforms that have been previously characterized in the scleractinian coral Stylophora pistillata. In addition we looked at gene expression of these enzymes in vivo. For both isoforms, our results show (1) a change in gene expression under OA (2) an effect of OA and temperature on carbonic anhydrase activity. We suggest that temperature increase could counterbalance the effect of OA on enzyme activity. Finally we point out that caution must, thus, be taken when interpreting transcriptomic data on carbonic anhydrases in ocean acidification and temperature stress experiments, as the effect of these stressors on the physiological function of CA will depend both on gene expression and enzyme activity.

Concepts: Carbonic acid, Bicarbonate, Carbon dioxide, Carbonic anhydrase, Ocean, Ocean acidification, PH, Enzyme


Environmental stimuli, including elevated carbon dioxide levels, regulate stomatal development; however, the key mechanisms mediating the perception and relay of the CO2 signal to the stomatal development machinery remain elusive. To adapt CO2 intake to water loss, plants regulate the development of stomatal gas exchange pores in the aerial epidermis. A diverse range of plant species show a decrease in stomatal density in response to the continuing rise in atmospheric CO2 (ref. 4). To date, one mutant that exhibits deregulation of this CO2-controlled stomatal development response, hic (which is defective in cell-wall wax biosynthesis, ref. 5), has been identified. Here we show that recently isolated Arabidopsis thaliana β-carbonic anhydrase double mutants (ca1 ca4) exhibit an inversion in their response to elevated CO2, showing increased stomatal development at elevated CO2 levels. We characterized the mechanisms mediating this response and identified an extracellular signalling pathway involved in the regulation of CO2-controlled stomatal development by carbonic anhydrases. RNA-seq analyses of transcripts show that the extracellular pro-peptide-encoding gene EPIDERMAL PATTERNING FACTOR 2 (EPF2), but not EPF1 (ref. 9), is induced in wild-type leaves but not in ca1 ca4 mutant leaves at elevated CO2 levels. Moreover, EPF2 is essential for CO2 control of stomatal development. Using cell-wall proteomic analyses and CO2-dependent transcriptomic analyses, we identified a novel CO2-induced extracellular protease, CRSP (CO2 RESPONSE SECRETED PROTEASE), as a mediator of CO2-controlled stomatal development. Our results identify mechanisms and genes that function in the repression of stomatal development in leaves during atmospheric CO2 elevation, including the carbonic-anhydrase-encoding genes CA1 and CA4 and the secreted protease CRSP, which cleaves the pro-peptide EPF2, in turn repressing stomatal development. Elucidation of these mechanisms advances the understanding of how plants perceive and relay the elevated CO2 signal and provides a framework to guide future research into how environmental challenges can modulate gas exchange in plants.

Concepts: Gene, Oxygen, Carbon, Bicarbonate, Arabidopsis thaliana, Carbonic anhydrase, Photosynthesis, Carbon dioxide