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Exp Eye Res. 2005 Oct;81(4):492-500.

Carbonic anhydrase XIV identified as the membrane CA in mouse retina: strong expression in Müller cells and the RPE.

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Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience, The University of Florida, 9505 Ocean Shore Blvd, St Augustine, FL 32080, USA.


The presence of carbonic anhydrase (CA) activity in the neural retina has been known for several decades. CA-II, a soluble cytoplasmic isoform expressed by Müller cells and a subset of amacrine cells, was thought to be the sole source of CA activity in the neural retina. However, CA-II deficient mice retain CA activity in the neural retina, which implies that another isoform must be present in that tissue. Recently CA-XIV, an integral membrane protein, was cloned and characterized. We, therefore, sought to determine whether CA-XIV is expressed in the neural retina, and hence is responsible for the CA activity observed in CA-II null animals. Immunohistochemical analyses of histological sections from CA-II null, CA-XIV null, and control mice were performed to localize the CA-XIV isoform, as well as other known retinal markers. Immunoblotting and real-time RT-PCR analyses were also performed to test for CA-XIV expression in retina and other mouse tissues. We determined herein that CA-XIV, a approximately 45kDa membrane protein, is expressed in retina, as it is in kidney. In the retina, CA-XIV is expressed on the plasma membrane of Müller cells. CA-XIV is also found on both the apical and basal membranes of the retinal pigmented epithelium. The data presented here indicate that like CA-II, CA-XIV is highly expressed in the neural retina and, like CA-II, more specifically by the Müller cells. The cellular compartmentalization of the two isoforms in the Müller cell-one cytoplasmic and the other on the plasma membrane-suggest that the two enzymes have specific and unique functions. Future studies will be necessary to assign functions to CA-II and CA-XIV in the mouse neural retina.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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