Literally meaning: “an enzyme that breaks down chitin”
Origin: Anc Greek
+(-άση)/(-asy)(=-ase) enzyme suffix added to the name of the substrate that the enzyme hydrolyzes eg proteinase for protein or lipase for lipids
>διά-/dia-(=prefix denoting “through”, “apart” )
> δυο/dio(two) + στάσις/stasis(=halt) > ίστημι/histimi(=stand).
Chitinase was first reported in vertebrate intestine by Jeuniaux in 1961 from the 9-banded armadillointestine. The first chitinase structures were solved in 1994 from a bacterium.
Perrakis A, Tews I, Dauter Z,
, Chet I, Wilson KS, Vorgias
structure of a bacterial chitinase at 2.3 A resolution. Structure. 1994 Dec 15;2(12):1169-80 Crystal
Chitinase is is the enzyme that catalyzes the hydrolysis of linked sugar residues (in beta-1-4glycosidic bond ) from chitin which is a derative of glucose. Chitinases are found in many organisms such as bacteria, fungi and plants.