Send to

Choose Destination
Biochem J. 2009 Jan 15;417(2):423-39. doi: 10.1042/BJ20081634.

Bicarbonate transport in cell physiology and disease.

Author information

Membrane Protein Research Group, Department of Physiology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.


The family of mammalian bicarbonate transport proteins are involved in a wide-range of physiological processes. The importance of bicarbonate transport follows from the biochemistry of HCO(3)(-) itself. Bicarbonate is the waste product of mitochondrial respiration. HCO(3)(-) undergoes pH-dependent conversion into CO(2) and in doing so converts from a membrane impermeant anion into a gas that can diffuse across membranes. The CO(2)-HCO(3)(-) equilibrium forms the most important pH buffering system of our bodies. Bicarbonate transport proteins facilitate the movement of membrane-impermeant HCO(3)(-) across membranes to accelerate disposal of waste CO(2), control cellular and whole-body pH, and to regulate fluid movement and acid/base secretion. Defects of bicarbonate transport proteins manifest in diseases of most organ systems. Fourteen gene products facilitate mammalian bicarbonate transport, whose physiology and pathophysiology is discussed in the present review.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center