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Marine Biology

, Volume 151, Issue 1, pp 71–83 | Cite as

Characterization and role of carbonic anhydrase in the calcification process of the azooxanthellate coral Tubastrea aurea

  • Sylvie Tambutté
  • Eric Tambutté
  • Didier Zoccola
  • Natacha Caminiti
  • Severine Lotto
  • Aurélie Moya
  • Denis Allemand
  • Jess Adkins
Research Article

Abstract

In zooxanthellate corals, the photosynthetic fixation of carbon dioxide and the precipitation of CaCO3 are intimately linked both spatially and temporally making it difficult to study carbon transport mechanisms involved in each pathway. When studying Tubastrea aurea, a coral devoid of zooxanthellae, we can focus on carbon transport mechanisms involved only in the calcification process. We performed this study to characterize T. aurea carbonic anhydrase and to determine its role in the calcification process. We have shown that inhibition of tissular carbonic anhydrase activity affects the calcification rate. We have measured the activity of this enzyme both in the tissues and in the organix matrix extracted from the skeleton. Our results indicate that organic matrix proteins, which are synthesized by the calcifying tissues, are not only structural proteins, but they also play a crucial catalytic role by eliminating the kinetic barrier to interconversion of inorganic carbon at the calcification site. By immunochemistry we have demonstrated the presence of a protein both in the tissues and in the organic matrix, which shares common features with prokaryotic carbonic anhydrases.

Keywords

Carbonic anhydrase Carbon Calcification Coral Biomineralization Organic matrix 

Abbreviations

CA

Carbonic anhydrase

BSA

Bovine serum albumin

DIC

Dissolved inorganic carbon

DTT

Dithiothreitol

EDTA

Ethylenediaminetetraacetate

FSW

Filtered seawater

PBS

Phosphate buffered saline

PAF

Paraformaldehyde

PIC

Protease inhibitor cocktail

RT

Room temperature

SOM

Soluble organic matrix

SDS

Sodium dodecyl sulphate

TBS

Tris buffered saline

DIC

Dissolved inorganic carbon

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank Prof. François Morel from Princeton University and Mak Saïto from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution for providing the antibody, anti-β-carbonic anhydrase from Synecchococcus sp. This study was conducted as part of the Centre Scientifique de Monaco 2000–2004 research program. It was supported by the Government of the Principality of Monaco and by the California Institute of Technology, USA.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sylvie Tambutté
    • 1
  • Eric Tambutté
    • 1
  • Didier Zoccola
    • 1
  • Natacha Caminiti
    • 1
  • Severine Lotto
    • 1
  • Aurélie Moya
    • 1
  • Denis Allemand
    • 1
    • 3
  • Jess Adkins
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre Scientifique de Monacoav. Saint MartinMonaco
  2. 2.Department of Geology and Planetary SciencesPasadenaUSA
  3. 3.UMR 1112 UNSA-INRA Faculté des SciencesNice Cedex 2France

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