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Plant Physiol. 2000 May;123(1):345-52.

Regulation of carbonic anhydrase expression by zinc, cobalt, and carbon dioxide in the marine diatom Thalassiosira weissflogii.

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Department of Geosciences, Guyot Hall, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey 08544-1003, USA.


TWCA1 is the major Zn-requiring isoform of carbonic anhydrase (CA) in the marine diatom Thalassiosira weissflogii. We have examined the roles that trace metals and CO(2) play in the regulation of TWCA1 expression over ranges of concentrations that bracket those encountered in the marine environment. Both steady-state levels of TWCA1 and the kinetics of induction were measured by western analysis. TWCA1 levels correlated well with cellular CA activity levels. TWCA1 was induced at a low CO(2) concentration but the level of induction, as determined by western analysis, was dependent on the availability of Zn. Co effectively substituted for Zn in regulating TWCA1 expression and promoting TWCA1 activity. Upon shift from low to high CO(2), the concentration of TWCA1 decreased. The expression of TWCA1 is diel cycle regulated, and cellular TWCA1 decreased during the dark phase. These results provide the basis for studying the expression of CA in field populations and, taken together with previous radiolabeling studies, provide strong evidence of in vivo metal substitution of Co for Zn in a CA. Our data also support the conclusion that TWCA1 plays a central role in carbon acquisition in T. weissflogii.

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