(Carbonate hydrolase; EC 188.8.131.52)
Carbonic anhydrase (carbonate dehydratase) catalyzes the
CO2 + H2O ------> H2CO3
The enzyme is widespread in nature. In animals it plays an
important role in respiration by facilitating the transport of
carbon dioxide. In plants, carbonic anhydrases are involved in
the photosynthetic fixation of CO2.
Mammalian erythrocytes contain two distinct forms of carbonic
anhydrase distinguished by differences in their catalytic
activities. The enzyme requires zinc for its activity and it
has a molecular weight of 30,000.