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Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences

, Volume 71, Issue 5, pp 831–845 | Cite as

Carbon dioxide-sensing in organisms and its implications for human disease

  • Eoin P. Cummins
  • Andrew C. Selfridge
  • Peter H. Sporn
  • Jacob I. Sznajder
  • Cormac T. Taylor
Review

Abstract

The capacity of organisms to sense changes in the levels of internal and external gases and to respond accordingly is central to a range of physiologic and pathophysiologic processes. Carbon dioxide, a primary product of oxidative metabolism is one such gas that can be sensed by both prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells and in response to altered levels, elicit the activation of multiple adaptive pathways. The outcomes of activating CO2-sensitive pathways in various species include increased virulence of fungal and bacterial pathogens, prey-seeking behavior in insects as well as taste perception, lung function, and the control of immunity in mammals. In this review, we discuss what is known about the mechanisms underpinning CO2 sensing across a range of species and consider the implications of this for physiology, disease progression, and the possibility of developing new therapeutics for inflammatory and infectious disease.

Keywords

Carbon dioxide (CO2Hypercapnia Physiological gases Immune regulation NF-kappaB 

Notes

Acknowledgments

C.T. Taylor, E.P. Cummins and A.C. Selfridge are supported by a Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) P.I award to C.T. Taylor. P.H. Sporn (HL-72891) and J.I. Sznajder (HL-85534, HL-48129 and HL 71643) are supported as indicated.

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Copyright information

© Springer Basel 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eoin P. Cummins
    • 1
  • Andrew C. Selfridge
    • 1
  • Peter H. Sporn
    • 3
  • Jacob I. Sznajder
    • 3
  • Cormac T. Taylor
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Medicine and Medical Science, UCD Conway InstituteUniversity College DublinDublin 4Ireland
  2. 2.Systems Biology IrelandDublin 4Ireland
  3. 3.Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Feinberg School of MedicineNorthwestern UniversityChicagoUSA

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