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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2022 Oct 04;11940:e2203904119. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2203904119.
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Extracellular carbonic anhydrase activity promotes a carbon concentration mechanism in metazoan calcifying cells.

Matt AS , Chang WW , Hu MY .

Many calcifying organisms utilize metabolic CO2 to generate CaCO3 minerals to harden their shells and skeletons. Carbonic anhydrases are evolutionary ancient enzymes that have been proposed to play a key role in the calcification process, with the underlying mechanisms being little understood. Here, we used the calcifying primary mesenchyme cells (PMCs) of sea urchin larva to study the role of cytosolic (iCAs) and extracellular carbonic anhydrases (eCAs) in the cellular carbon concentration mechanism (CCM). Molecular analyses identified iCAs and eCAs in PMCs and highlight the prominent expression of a glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored membrane-bound CA (Cara7). Intracellular pH recordings in combination with CO2 pulse experiments demonstrated iCA activity in PMCs. iCA activity measurements, together with pharmacological approaches, revealed an opposing contribution of iCAs and eCAs on the CCM. H+-selective electrodes were used to demonstrate eCA-catalyzed CO2 hydration rates at the cell surface. Knockdown of Cara7 reduced extracellular CO2 hydration rates accompanied by impaired formation of specific skeletal segments. Finally, reduced pHi regulatory capacities during inhibition and knockdown of Cara7 underscore a role of this eCA in cellular HCO3- uptake. This work reveals the function of CAs in the cellular CCM of a marine calcifying animal. Extracellular hydration of metabolic CO2 by Cara7 coupled to HCO3- uptake mechanisms mitigates the loss of carbon and reduces the cellular proton load during the mineralization process. The findings of this work provide insights into the cellular mechanisms of an ancient biological process that is capable of utilizing CO2 to generate a versatile construction material.

PubMed ID: 36161891
PMC ID: PMC9546546
Article link: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
Grant support: [+]

Genes referenced: cah2
Antibodies: cah2 Ab1
Morpholinos: cah2 MO1 cah2 MO2 cah2 MO3

References [+] :
Arshinoff, Echinobase: leveraging an extant model organism database to build a knowledgebase supporting research on the genomics and biology of echinoderms. 2022, Pubmed, Echinobase