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Indian J Microbiol. 2011 Jul;51(3):319-25. doi: 10.1007/s12088-011-0157-7. Epub 2011 Jan 30.

Production of N-acetylglucosamine using recombinant chitinolytic enzymes.


The pharmaceutically important compound N-acetylglucosamine (NAG), is used in various therapeutic formulations, skin care products and dietary supplements. Currently, NAG is being produced by an environment-unfriendly chemical process using chitin, a polysaccharide present in abundance in the exoskeleton of crustaceans, as a substrate. In the present study, we report the potential of an eco-friendly biological process for the production of NAG using recombinant bacterial enzymes, chitinase (CHI) and chitobiase (CHB). The treatment of chitin with recombinant CHI alone produced 8% NAG and 72% chitobiose, a homodimer of NAG. However, supplementation of the reaction mixture with another recombinant enzyme, CHB, resulted in approximately six fold increase in NAG production. The product, NAG, was confirmed by HPLC, TLC and ESI-MS studies. Conditions are being optimized for increased production of NAG from chitin.


Chitin; Chitinase; Chitobiase; Gene cloning; N-acetylglucosamine

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