4.  What are the major transport mechanisms for CO2? Explain.

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The major transport mechanisms for CO2 is transported by sodium bicarbonate as well as red blood cells. See, about 70% of carbon dioxide is transported as sodium bicarbonate. As CO2 diffuses into the blood plasma, a large part of it combines with water to form carbonic acid in the presence of the enzyme carbonic anhydrase. Carbonic anhydrase is a zinc enzyme that speeds up the formation of carbonic acid. This carbonic acid dissociates into bicarbonate (HCO3) and hydrogen ions (H+). About 20 – 25% of CO2 is transported by the red blood cells as carbaminohaemoglobin. Carbon dioxide binds to the amino groups on the polypeptide chains of hemoglobin and forms a compound known as carbaminohaemoglobin.

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