Procedures for isolating carbonic anhydrase (EC 4.2.1.1) enzymes from the erythrocytes and the mucosae of the gastrointestinal tract of guinea pigs are described. From a haemolysate, haemoglobin was removed by the addition of ammonium sulphate, and also by two other methods, namely by gel filtration or by adsorption on DEAE-Sephadex. The crude enzyme thus obtained was resolved into the different isoenzymes by chromatography with DEAE-cellulose. From particle-free supernatants of homogenates of some gastrointestinal tissues, carbonic anhydrases were purified by ammonium sulphate fractionation, gel filtration, and ion-exchange chromatography with DEAE-cellulose. The major isoenzymes from blood, stomach, proximal colonic mucosa and caecal mucosa were homogeneous during ion-exchange chromatography, acrylamide-gel electrophoresis, and centrifugal examination. From these tissues, carbonic anhydrase was isolated as two major isoenzymes. They resemble the pairs of isoenzymes discovered in the bloods of other species. The carbon dioxide hydratase activity of one isoenzyme (`high activity' carbonic anhydrase) was 40 times that of the other isoenzyme (`low activity' carbonic anhydrase), as measured at a single substrate concentration. Two other minor components of the enzyme are also found in guinea-pig erythrocytes. All of the enzymes isolated had molecular weights of nearly 30000 (sedimentation equilibrium). `High activity' carbonic anhydrases from blood and gastrointestinal tissues were indistinguishable according to some chemical, physical and kinetic measurements; similarly `low activity' carbonic anhydrases from those tissues were indistinguishable. `High activity' carbonic anhydrase was markedly different from the `low activity' carbonic anhydrase with respect to its amino acid composition, chromatographic behaviour and isoelectric pH value. Marked differences were also found in the tissue concentrations of the major isoenzymes. It is suggested that the characteristic and selective distribution of the different forms of carbonic anhydrase in the guinea-pig tissues is related to the specific and different physiological functions of the enzymes.

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