The Function of Carbonic Anhydrase in Crustacean Gills

  • L. E. Burnett
  • T. N. Dunn
  • R. L. InfantinoJr.
Part of the Proceedings in Life Sciences book series (LIFE SCIENCES)


Carbonic anhydrase (CA) is one of the most ubiquitous enzymes found in living organisms. The major action of the enzyme is the catalysis of the reactions of carbon dioxide with water, reactions which proceed uncatalyzed at very slow rates even at physiological temperatures. The enzyme is important for several reasons. It can mobilize rapidly carbon dioxide to bicarbonate and carbonate, which has implications for acid-base balance, ion transport, and calcification, all at the tissue and cellular levels. It can also mobilize bicarbonate to the more diffusible carbon dioxide, facilitating transport within, between, and across tissues and cells. Among animals CA has been studied extensively in the vertebrates and especially mammals. Although the occurrence of CA among the invertebrate phyla has been known for some 47 years (Ferguson et al. 1937), it is only recently that investigations into its function in invertebrates have begun in earnest. The reader is referred to a recent review of the subject by Henry (1984). The purpose of this article is to present information on what is currently known about the distribution of CA and its function in transporting substances across gills in a single group of invertebrate organisms, the decapod crustaceans.


Carbonic Anhydrase Blue Crab Carbonic Anhydrase Inhibition Carbon Dioxide Excretion Callinectes Sapidus 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. E. Burnett
    • 1
  • T. N. Dunn
    • 1
  • R. L. InfantinoJr.
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of San DiegoSan DiegoUSA

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