Chapter 24. Chitinase


Mateusz Pomianek, Dorota Bartusik-Aebisher and David Aebisher
Medical College of The University of Rzeszów, Poland

Part of the book: The Biochemical Guide to Proteins


Chitinases belong to the group of glycosidic hydrolases, their presence allows organisms, inter alia, to obtain nutrients from the decomposed polysaccharide. Chitinases, which are hydrolytic enzymes, are widely distributed in the natural environment. Their role in the defense mechanisms of individual species and in obtaining nutrients necessary for the proper development of the organism is irreplaceable due to the high prevalence of the hydrolyzed polysaccharide, which is chitin. A full understanding of the way these enzymes work, and the optimization of the process of obtaining them, most often in the form of bacterial chitinases will significantly affect the development of agriculture, forestry, and may even bring development in medicine. The products produced in reactions involving this enzyme – chitooligosaccharides, have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. The use of these products would make it possible to use targeted therapies against, inter alia, cancer cells.

Keywords: chitinases, N-acetylglucosamines, enzymes, polysaccharide, chitinase-synthesizing bacteria


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