* To whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received January 13, 2015; Revision received February 27, 2015
This review presents information about carbonic anhydrases, enzymes catalyzing the reversible hydration of carbon dioxide in aqueous solutions. The families of carbonic anhydrases are described, and data concerning the presence of their representatives in organisms of different classes, and especially in the higher plants, are considered. Proven and hypothetical functions of carbonic anhydrases in living organisms are listed. Particular attention is given to those functions of the enzyme that are relevant to photosynthetic reactions. These functions in algae are briefly described. Data about probable functions of carbonic anhydrases in plasma membrane, mitochondria, and chloroplast stroma of higher plants are discussed. Update concerning carbonic anhydrases in chloroplast thylakoids of higher plants, i.e. their quantity and possible participation in photosynthetic reactions, is given in detail.
KEY WORDS: carbonic anhydrase, carbonic anhydrase families, plants, photosynthesis, chloroplasts, thylakoids