The carbonic anhydrases (or carbonate dehydratases) are classified as metalloenzyme for its zinc ion prosthetic group and form a family of enzymes that catalyze the rapid interconversion of carbon dioxide and water to bicarbonate and protons, a reversible reaction that takes part in maintaining acid-base balance in blood and other tissues. The carbonic anhydrasekl (CA) family consists of at least 11 enzymatically active members and a few inactive homologous proteins. Carbonic anhydrase IV (CAIV) is a membrane-associated enzyme anchored to plasma membrane surfaces by a phosphatidylinositol glycan linkage. CAIV is a high-activity isozyme in CO2 hydration comparable to that of CAII. Furthermore, CAIV is more active in HCO3- dehydration than is CAII. However, the esterase activity of CAIV is decreased 15-fold compared to CAII.