Carbonic anhydrase is a Zn containing enzyme, which catalyzes the formation of bicarbonate from water and carbon dioxide. The enzymatic catalysis increases the rate of reaction by a factor of 107.
For this reason, carbonic anhydrase is very important for basic biological processes such as photosynthesis, respiration, calcification and de-calcification, as well as for pH buffering.
It consists of 259 amino acids; the zinc ion (Zn2+) is found in a conical hole ca. 1.6 nm deep. This hole has lipophilic and hydrophilic areas.
Molecule section with active site