Structural studies of a two-domain chitinase from Streptomyces griseus HUT6037

J Mol Biol. 2006 Apr 28;358(2):472-84. doi: 10.1016/j.jmb.2006.02.013. Epub 2006 Feb 21.


Chitinase C (ChiC) from Streptomyces griseus HUT6037 was the first glycoside hydrolase family 19 chitinase that was found in an organism other than higher plants. An N-terminal chitin-binding domain and a C-terminal catalytic domain connected by a linker peptide constitute ChiC. We determined the crystal structure of full-length ChiC, which is the only representative of the two-domain chitinases in the family. The catalytic domain has an alpha-helix-rich fold with a deep cleft containing a catalytic site, and lacks three loops on the domain surface compared with the catalytic domain of plant chitinases. The chitin-binding domain is an all-beta protein with two tryptophan residues (Trp59 and Trp60) aligned on the surface. We suggest the binding mechanism of tri-N-acetylchitotriose onto the chitin-binding domain on the basis of molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. In this mechanism, the ligand molecule binds well on the surface-exposed binding site through two stacking interactions and two hydrogen bonds and only Trp59 and Trp60 are involved in the binding. Furthermore, the flexibility of the Trp60 side-chain, which may be involved in adjusting the binding surface to fit the surface of crystalline chitin by the rotation of chi2 angle, is shown.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Catalytic Domain
  • Chitin / metabolism
  • Chitinases / chemistry*
  • Chitinases / metabolism
  • Computer Simulation
  • Crystallography, X-Ray
  • Ligands
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Plant Proteins
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Streptomyces griseus / enzymology*
  • Trisaccharides / metabolism
  • Tryptophan / chemistry


  • Ligands
  • Plant Proteins
  • Trisaccharides
  • Chitin
  • N,N',N''-triacetylchitotriose
  • Tryptophan
  • Chitinases
  • chitinase C

Associated data

  • PDB/1WVU
  • PDB/1WVV
  • PDB/2DBT