Carbonic anhydrases and anion transport in mosquito midgut pH regulation. Linser, P., J., Smith, K., E., Seron, T., J., & Neira Oviedo, M. The Journal of experimental biology, 212(Pt 11):1662-71, 6, 2009.
Carbonic anhydrases and anion transport in mosquito midgut pH regulation. [pdf]Paper  Carbonic anhydrases and anion transport in mosquito midgut pH regulation. [link]Website  abstract   bibtex   
Mosquito larvae use a digestive strategy that is relatively rare in nature. The anterior half of the larval mosquito midgut has a luminal pH that ranges between 10.5 and 11.5. Most other organisms, both large and small, initiate digestion in an acid medium. The relative uniqueness of the highly alkaline digestive strategy has been a long-standing research focus in larval lepidopterans. More recently, the disease vector potential of mosquitoes has fueled specific interest in larval mosquito biology and the alkaline digestive environment in the midgut. The probable principle anion influencing the highly alkaline gut lumen is bicarbonate/carbonate. Bicarbonate/carbonate is regulated at least in part by the activity of carbonic anhydrases. Hence, we have focused attention on the carbonic anhydrases of the mosquito larva. Anopheles gambiae, the major malaria mosquito of Africa, is an organism with a published genome which has facilitated molecular analyses of the 12 carbonic anhydrase genes annotated for this mosquito. Microarray expression analyses, tissue-specific quantitative RT-PCR, and antibody localization have been used to generate a picture of carbonic anhydrase distribution in the larval mosquito. Cytoplasmic, GPI-linked extracellular membrane-bound and soluble extracellular carbonic anhydrases have been located in the midgut and hindgut. The distribution of the enzymes is consistent with an anion regulatory system in which carbonic anhydrases provide a continuous source of bicarbonate/carbonate from the intracellular compartments of certain epithelial cells to the ectoperitrophic space between the epithelial cells and the acellular membrane separating the food bolus from the gut cells and finally into the gut lumen. Carbonic anhydrase in specialized cells of the hindgut (rectum) probably plays a final role in excretion of bicarbonate/carbonate into the aquatic environment of the larva. Detection and characterization of classic anion exchangers of the SLC4A family in the midgut has been problematic. The distribution of carbonic anhydrases in the system may obviate the requirement for such transporters, making the system more dependent on simple carbon dioxide diffusion and ionization via the activity of the enzyme.

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