Screening carbonic anhydrase IX inhibitors in traditional Chinese medicine based on electrophoretically mediated microanalysis

Talanta. 2021 Sep 1;232:122444. doi: 10.1016/j.talanta.2021.122444. Epub 2021 May 1.


An electrophoretically mediated microanalysis (EMMA) method for the screening of carbonic anhydrase IX inhibitors in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) was developed. This method combines transverse diffusion of laminar flow profiles (TDLFP) and rapid polarity switching technology to achieve rapid mixing of different reactants. Different electromigration rates of different substances make it possible that incubation, separation and detection are carried out continuously in a same fused-silica capillary. In this experiment, p-nitrophenyl acetate (pNPA) was used as the substrate for the enzyme reaction, which solved the problem that capillary electrophoresis could not detect carbonate, carbon dioxide, etc., the conventional substrates of carbonic anhydrase IX. After optimizing the enzyme reaction and separation conditions, the separation of substrate and product can be finished by baseline within 4 min. The Michaelis constant of carbonic anhydrase IX was measured to be 1.2 mM. A known inhibitor acetazolamide was used to evaluate the feasibility of this method for screening carbonic anhydrase IX inhibitors, and the half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) was calculated to be 1.26 μM. Finally, 4 natural compounds of 15 traditional Chinese medicine standards were discovered to exhibit enzyme inhibitory activity, including polydatin, matrine, dauricine and cepharanthine, proving that the EMMA method is an effective means for screening carbonic anhydrase IX inhibitors. The results were supported by molecular docking study.

Keywords: Capillary electrophoresis; Carbonic anhydrase IX; Electrophoretically mediated microanalysis; Inhibitor screening; Traditional Chinese medicine.

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Carbonic Anhydrase IX
  • Carbonic Anhydrase Inhibitors* / pharmacology
  • Electrophoresis, Capillary
  • Medicine, Chinese Traditional*
  • Molecular Docking Simulation
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Carbonic Anhydrase Inhibitors
  • Carbonic Anhydrase IX