A survey of carbonic anhydrase mRNA expression in enamel cells

Rodrigo S. Lacruz, Mika Hilvo, Ira Kurtz, Michael L. Paine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Enamel formation requires rigid control of pH homeostasis during all stages of development to prevent disruptions to crystal growth. The acceleration of the generation of bicarbonate by carbonic anhydrases (CA) has been suggested as one of the pathways used by ameloblasts cells to regulate extracellular pH yet only two isozymes (CA II and CA VI) have been reported to date during enamel formation. The mammalian CA family contains 16 different isoforms of which 13 are enzymatically active. We have conducted a systematic screening by RT-PCR on the expression of all known CA isoforms in mouse enamel organ epithelium (EOE) cells dissected from new born, in secretory ameloblasts derived from 7-day-old animals, and in the LS8 ameloblast cell line. Results show that all CA isoforms are expressed by EOE/ameloblast cells in vivo. The most highly expressed are the catalytic isozymes CA II, VI, IX, and XIII, and the acatalytic CA XI isoform. Only minor differences were found in CA expression levels between 1-day EOE cells and 7-day-old secretory-stage ameloblasts, whereas LS8 cells expressed fewer CA isoforms than both of these. The broad expression of CAs by ameloblasts reported here contributes to our understanding of pH homeostasis during enamel development and demonstrates its complexity. Our results also highlight the critical role that regulation of pH plays during the development of enamel.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)883-887
Number of pages5
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 19 2010


  • Acid/base transport
  • Ameloblast
  • Carbonic anhydrase
  • Enamel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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