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carbonic anhydrase[kär′bän·ik an′hī‚drās]
carboanhydrase, carbonate hydrolase, an enzyme of the lyase class that catalyzes the reversible formation of carbonic acid from carbon dioxide and water: CO2 + H 2O ⇄H2CO3.. Carbonicanhydrase is a metallo-protein containing zinc. Molecular weight, about 30, 000.
Carbonic anhydrase is found in erythrocytes and in cells of the kidneys, the gastric mucosa, and the retina of the eye. Erythrocytic carbonic anhydrase provides for the bonding of CO2with blood in the tissues and for its rapid release in the lungs or branchia. Carbonic anhydrase makes for the formation of acid urine in the kidney, hydrochloric acid in the gastric mucosa, bicarbonates of pancreatic juice in the pancreas, and eggshells (containing CaCO3) in the oviducts of birds. Carbonic anhydrase is specifically and strongly inhibited by sulfonamides, which contain an aromatic group. Diamox (acetazolamide), Pentazane (methazolamide), and other agents used in the treatment of glaucoma and diseases of the retina and nervous system are examples of especially active carbonic anhydrase inhibitors. Carbonic anhydrase also occurs in the leaves of certain plants.
E. IU. CHENYKAEVA