Chitin/Chitosan-Active Enzymes Involved in Plant–Microbe Interactions

  • Tamo FukamizoEmail author
  • S. Shinya
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 1142)


Plant chitinase hydrolyzing β-1,4-glycosidic linkages of chitin are major enzymes acting in plant–microbe interactions and are involved in self-defense against fungal pathogens. Chitosanases from soil bacteria are also involved in plant defense by hydrolyzing chitosan components of the fungal cell wall. The crystal structures of these enzymes in complex with their substrates have been solved, and the mechanisms of substrate binding were elucidated at the atomic level. These findings enabled us to speculate on the enzyme targets under physiological conditions, leading us to define the physiological roles of the enzymes. The structures and functions of chitin/chitosan-binding modules appended to modular chitinases/chitosanases were analyzed by NMR and isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC), and the enzymes were found to form an appropriate modular organization to fulfill their roles in plant–microbe interactions.


Chitinase Chitosanase Crystal structure Nuclear magnetic resonance Isothermal titration calorimetry 





β-1,4-linked oligosaccharide of GlcNAc with a polymerization degree of n




β-1,4-linked oligosaccharide of GlcN with a polymerization degree of n


isothermal titration calorimetry


nuclear magnetic resonance


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Biochemistry-Electrochemistry Research UnitSchool of Chemistry, Suranaree University of TechnologyNakhon RatchasimaThailand
  2. 2.Laboratory of Molecular BiophysicsInstitute of Protein Research, Osaka UniversityOsakaJapan

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