Heterodisaccharide 4-O-(N-acetyl-beta-D-glucosaminyl)-D-glucosamine is a specific inducer of chitinolytic enzyme production in Vibrios harboring chitin oligosaccharide deacetylase genes

Glycobiology. 2009 Sep;19(9):1046-53. doi: 10.1093/glycob/cwp088. Epub 2009 Jun 24.


Vibrio parahaemolyticus KN1699 produces 4-O-(N-acetyl-beta-d-glucosaminyl)-d-glucosamine (GlcNAc-GlcN) as a major end product from chitin using two extracellular hydrolases: glycoside hydrolase family 18 chitinase, which produces (GlcNAc)(2) from chitin, and carbohydrate esterase (CE) family 4 chitin oligosaccharide deacetylase (COD), which hydrolyzes the N-acetyl group at the reducing-end GlcNAc residue of (GlcNAc)(2). In this study, we clarified that this heterodisaccharide functions as an inducer of the production of the two above-mentioned chitinolytic enzymes, particularly chitinase. Similar results for chitinase production were obtained with other chitin-decomposing Vibrio strains harboring the CE family 4 COD gene; however, such an increase in chitinase production was not observed in chitinolytic Vibrio strains that did not harbor the COD gene. These results suggest that GlcNAc-GlcN is a unique inducer of chitinase production in Vibrio bacteria that have the COD-producing ability and that the COD involved in the synthesis of this signal compound is one of the key enzymes in the chitin catabolic cascade of these bacteria.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amidohydrolases / chemistry
  • Amidohydrolases / genetics*
  • Amidohydrolases / metabolism
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Base Sequence
  • Electrophoresis, Agar Gel
  • Genes, Bacterial
  • Hydrolysis
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • Vibrio / enzymology*
  • Vibrio / genetics


  • Amidohydrolases
  • chitin deacetylase