Carbonic anhydrases (CAs) are essential and ubiquitous enzymes. Thus far, there are no articles on characterization of Drosophila melanogaster α-CAs. Data from invertebrate CA studies may provide opportunities for anti-parasitic drug development because α-CAs are found in many parasite or parasite vector invertebrates. We have expressed and purified D. melanogaster CAH1 and CAH2 as proteins of molecular weights 30kDa and 28kDa. CAH1 is cytoplasmic whereas CAH2 is a membrane-attached protein. Both are highly active enzymes for the CO2 hydration reaction, being efficiently inhibited by acetazolamide. CAH2 in the eye of D. melanogaster may provide a new animal model for CA-related eye diseases. A series of dithiocarbamates were also screened as inhibitors of these enzymes, with some representatives showing inhibition in the low nanomolar range.
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