Carbonic anhydrases in metazoan model organisms: molecules, mechanisms, and physiology

Ashok Aspatwar, Martti E. E. Tolvanen, Harlan Barker, Leo Syrjänen, Susanna Valanne, Sami Purmonen, Abdul Waheed, William S. Sly, Seppo Parkkila

Research output: Contribution to journalReview Articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
8 Downloads (Pure)


During the past three decades, mice, zebrafish, fruit flies, and Caenorhabditis elegans have been the primary model organisms used for the study of various biological phenomena. These models have also been adopted and developed to investigate the physiological roles of carbonic anhydrases (CAs) and carbonic anhydrase-related proteins (CARPs). These proteins belong to eight CA families and are identified by Greek letters: α, β, γ, δ, ζ, η, θ, and ι. Studies using model organisms have focused on two CA families, α-CAs and β-CAs, which are expressed in both prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms with species-specific distribution patterns and unique functions. This review covers the biological roles of CAs and CARPs in light of investigations performed in model organisms. Functional studies demonstrate that CAs are not only linked to the regulation of pH homeostasis, the classical role of CAs, but also contribute to a plethora of previously undescribed functions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1327-1383
Number of pages57
JournalPhysiological reviews
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal


  • carbonic anhydrase
  • model organism
  • pH regulation
  • phenotype
  • physiology

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 3

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Physiology (medical)


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