Detection of Carbonic Anhydrase in the Gills of Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)
Detection of Carbonic Anhydrase in the Gills of Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)
Journal of Life Science. 2013. Dec, 23(12): 1557-1561
Copyright © 2013, Korean Society of Life Science
This is an Open-Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
  • Received : November 05, 2013
  • Accepted : December 02, 2013
  • Published : December 30, 2013
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About the Authors
수철, 김
Department of Biotechnology, College of Engineering, Chonnam National University, Yeosu 550-749, Korea
갑성, 최
Department of Food Science and Technology, Sunchon National University, Sunchon 540-950, Korea
정우, 김
Department of Anatomy, College of Medicine, Seonam University, Namwon 590-711, Korea
명락, 최
Department of Biotechnology, College of Engineering, Chonnam National University, Yeosu 550-749, Korea
경호, 한
Department of Aquatic Biology, College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, Chonnam National University, Yeosu 550-749, Korea
원교, 이
Department of Aquatic Biology, College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, Chonnam National University, Yeosu 550-749, Korea
강희, 고
Department of Aquatic Biology, College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, Chonnam National University, Yeosu 550-749, Korea

Carbonic anhydrase isozymes are a widespread, zinc-containing metalloenzyme family. The enzyme catalyzes the reversible inter-conversion of CO 2 and HCO 3 . This reaction is the main role played by CA enzymes in physiological conditions. This enzyme has been found in virtually all organisms, and at least 16 isozymes have been isolated in mammals. Unlike mammals, there is little information available regarding CA isozymes in the tissues of non-mammalian groups, such as fish. Carbonic anhydrase is very important in the osmotic and acid-base regulation in fish. It is well-known that the gills of fish play the most important role in acid-base relevant ion transfer, the transfer of H + and/or HCO 3 , for the maintenance of systemic pH. Rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss , is the most important freshwater fish species in the aquaculture industry of Korea, with annual production increasing each year. In addition, environmental toxicology research has shown that rainbow trout is known to be the species that is most susceptible to environmental toxins. Consequently, carbonic anhydrase was detected in rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss . The isolated protein showed the specific band with a molecular weight of 30 kDa and pI of 7.0, and it was identified as being carbonic anhydrase. The immunohistochemical result demonstrated that the carbonic anhydrase was located in the epithelial cells of the gills.
Carbonic anhydrase (CA) was first discovered by Muldrum and Roughton in 1933 [19] . CA is a peptide with a zinc atom, and several isoenzymes in the CA family have been isolated and characterized in various animal species [ 1 , 13 , 15 , 19] . In 1952, the function of CA was first revealed by Janowitz. They found that CA is associated with HCl excretion in gastric juice in mammals [14] . The parietal cells located between epithelial cells of the gastric mucosa contain a high CA concentration, which catalyze the bio-synthesis of dihydrogen oxide and carbon dioxide to carbonic acid. The CA has been found widely in mammals, birds, chondrichthyes, plants, and bacteria. However, studies on the CA family in fishes have rarely been reported.
CA is a ubiquitous metalloenzyme that catalyzes the reversible hydration of CO 2 to produce H + and HCO 3 . In fishes, carbonic anhydrase also exhibits a fundamental role in a number of physiological processes such as physiological pH control and gas balance, calcification, osmoregulation, ion regulation and clearance of waste products from nitrogenous metabolism [ 12 , 18] .
In contrast to the large amount of information about the CA in mammals, much less is known about CA in non-mammalian vertebrates. Rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss , have been extensively used as an experimental model for environmental toxicology research. The aims of the present study are to identify and detect a CA in the rainbow trout gill by immunoblot and immunohistochemistry.
Materials and Methods
- Preparation of cytosolic protein
Rainbow trout were provided by a fish farm in Gwangyang, Chonnam province, Korea. The gills were suspended in 0.5 g/10 mM Tris buffer (pH 7.2), homogenized in a glass grinder, and centrifuged at 5,000× g for 3 min at 4℃ (×3). The supernatant was centrifuged at 45,000× g for 90 min at 4℃, and the cytosolic extract was collected.
- Antibody production
Purified bovine erythrocyte CA was prepared as described by Chai et al [2] . The purified CA (100 µg) was injected subcutaneously as a 1:1 mix with Freund’s complete adjuvant (0.5 ml) into one 6-month-old New Zealand male rabbit, and a 100-µg booster injection as a 1:1 mix with incomplete Freund’s adjuvant (0.5 ml) was administered subcutaneously 2 weeks after the first injection. Antiserum was collected via biweekly bleeding from the ear vein beginning 1 month after the initial antigen injection. The antibody titer was determined by dot immunoassay [11], and a dilution of 1:10,000 was optimal for detecting CA.
- Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) and Western blot analyses
The cytosolic protein was mixed with 2× sample buffer, boiled for 3 min, and subjected to SDS-PAGE on 12% gels using the method of Laemmli [10] . Four µg of protein in each sample was loaded. The separated proteins were transferred to a PVDF membrane, and the membrane was blocked with 7.5% skimmed milk in 10 mM Tris–HCl (pH 7.6) containing 0.15 M NaCl (TBS). The membrane was immersed overnight in primary antibody (1:1,000). After washing with TBS containing Tween-20, the membrane was incubated with alkaline phosphatase-conjugated goat anti-rabbit antiserum (1:5,000 dilution) for 2 h at room temperature. Bands were visualized with p-nitroblue tetrazolium chloride and 5-bromo-4-chloro-3-indolyl phosphate. Western blot bands were quantified by scanning densitometry and the Image J program (
- Isoelectric focusing (IEF) and Western blot analysis
The cytosolic protein was treated with 10 mM dithiothreitol for 30 min and focused on a horizontal slab gel (4.5% acrylamide/1% ampholyte, pH 3.5-9.5) at 1,500 V and 2.75 mA/cm, with limiting power of 1.125 W/cm gel for 50 min. Isoelectric focusing gels containing Netfix (Serva, Biochemicals Inc. Paramus, NJ, USA) were used for analyzing a CA protein. The gel was transferred onto Immobilon-P (PVDF, Millipore Inc., Bedford, MA, USA) membranes using a Semi-Dry Transfer Cell (Bio-Rad Lab., Hercules, CA, USA). The CA proteins were detected by the Western blot method.
- Immunohistochemistry
After fixation with 4% paraformaldehyde, the tissues were embedded in Paraplast (McCormick, Sparks, MD, USA) using a standard procedure. Next, 5-mm-thick serial sections were cut using a RM 2155 rotary microtome (Leica Microsystems, Nussloch, Germany) and mounted on slides coated with 3-aminopropyl-tri-ethoxysilane (Sigma-Aldrich, St. Louis, MO, USA).
Immunohistochemical staining was carried out using a routine method. Briefly, tissue sections were incubated at 48℃ for 24 h with primary antibody: polyclonal anti-CA. Antibody binding was visualized using an ImmPRESSTM avidin-biotin-peroxidase kit (Vector Laboratories Inc., Burlingame, CA, USA) according to the manufacturer's instructions. Omission of primary or secondary antibody was used to control for false-positives. The tissue sections were stained with hematoxylin, dehydrated through a graded alcohol series, and mounted on coverslips. Images were captured directly using an Olympus BX-50 microscope (Olympus Corp., Tokyo, Japan) and a C-4040Z digital camera (Olympus Corp.).
Results and Discussion
Carbonic anhydrase (CA) is a seemingly ubiquitous enzyme of profound physiological importance, which plays essential roles in the regulation of CO 2 levels in cells. Although sixteen different CA isoenzymes have been described in higher vertebrates so far, the only known physiological function of them is to facilitate the interconversion of CO 2 to HCO 3 and H + [ 3 , 4 , 9 , 22] . To obtain basic data for biochemical properties of CA, we investigated this protein from gill of rainbow trout by SDS-PAGE, IEF and immunohistochemistry.
The protein concentration in the gill of rainbow trout was approximately 95 mg/g (data not shown). When the sensitivity and specificity of a heterologous antiserum for CA was applied on blots of SDS-PAGE and Western blotting, a significant protein band with a molecular weight of 30 kDa was detected from the gill of rainbow trout ( Fig. 1 ) where it plays an important role in osmoregulation, nitrogen (ammonia) excretion, acid-base balance and gas exchange [5] . This protein detected by CA antiserum was virtually the same size as those of spiny dogfish, carp, and Cyprinus carpio (30 kDa) [11, 17 , 20] . The protein also purified from human lung membranes with the different molecular mass of 35 kDa [23] .
PPT Slide
Lager Image
SDS-PAGE and Western blot analysis of cytosolic protein from the gill of rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss. (A) Immunodetection of CA on a blot of PVDF membrane from gill of rainbow trout.
The protein was also resolved by IEF and Western blotting. A major band of CA with pI 7.0 was detected on the blot of IEF gel ( Fig. 2 ). Similar finding was previously reported in the liver of flounder [8] .
PPT Slide
Lager Image
Isoelectric focusing and Western blot analysis of cytosolic protein from the gill of rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss. Isoelectric focusing and blotting were described under Materials and Methods. (A) Approximately 20 µg of proteins was focused on isoelectric focusing gel and immunodetection of CA on a blot of PVDF membrane.
In the results of immunohistochemical experiments, the only CA antiserum showed immune response in the gill from rainbow trout (data not shown). Cytoplasm of gill’s epithelial cell (arrow mark of Pic. B in Fig. 3 ) shows the strongest immune response. Also, we identified immune response at Pillar cell and nucleus and cytoplasm of chondroblast that backing the gill. Growing gill wall is the replacement bone that transformed cartilage into tibia. We observed chondro blast cell because experiment group is growing ( Fig. 3 ).
PPT Slide
Lager Image
Gill photography of CA immunohistochemical staining. B is enlarged pictures of the square box of A. Arrows indicate cytoplasm of gill’s epithelial cell. Scale bar=50 µm.
The results indicated that the CA was present in the gill of rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss . Further studies are needed to elucidate biochemical functions in the rainbow trout gill.
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