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J Histochem Cytochem. 1999 Apr;47(4):517-24.

Cell-specific expression of mitochondrial carbonic anhydrase in the human and rat gastrointestinal tract.

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Department of Surgery, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland.


Mitochondrial carbonic anhydrase V (CA V) in liver provides HCO3- to pyruvate carboxylase for the first step in gluconeogenesis and HCO3- to carbamyl phosphate synthetase I for the first step in ureagenesis. Because carbamyl phosphate synthetase I and ornithine transcarbamylase are also expressed in enterocytes, we tested the hypothesis that CA V is expressed in the gastrointestinal tract in addition to liver. Polyclonal rabbit antisera were raised against a polypeptide of 17 C-terminal amino acids of human CA V and against purified recombinant mouse isozyme and were used in Western blotting and immunoperoxidase staining of human and rat tissues. Immunohistochemistry showed that CA V is expressed cell-specifically in the alimentary canal mucosa from stomach to rectum. Immunoreactions for CA V were detected in the parietal cells and gastrin-producing G-cells of the stomach and in intestinal enterocytes. Western blotting of human and rat gastrointestinal tissues with isozyme-specific antibodies showed positive signals for CA V with the expected molecular mass. The findings in human tissues paralleled those in rat. The cell-specific pattern of CA V expression suggests a role for CA V in alimentary canal physiology. We propose that mitochondrial CA V participates in the detoxification of ammonia produced in the gastrointestinal tract by providing bicarbonate to carbamyl phosphate synthetase I. (J Histochem Cytochem 47:517-524, 1999).

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