In silico characterization of bacterial chitinase : illuminating its relationship with archaeal and eukaryotic cousins

Bhramar Dutta, Jan Deska, Rajib Bandopadhyay*, Salem Shamekh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
298 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Chitin is one of the most abundant biopolymers on Earth, only trailing second after cellulose. The enzyme chitinase is responsible for the degradation of chitin. Chitinases are found to be produced by wide range of organisms ranging from archaea to higher plants. Though chitin is a major component of fungal cell walls and invertebrate exoskeletons, bacterial chitinase can be industrially generated at low cost, in facile downstream processes at high production rate. Microbial chitinases are more stable, active, and economically practicable compared to the plant- and animal-derived enzymes. Results: In the present study, computationally obtained results showed functional characteristics of chitinase with particular emphasis on bacterial chitinase which is fulfilling all the required qualities needed for commercial production. Sixty-two chitinase sequences from four different groups of organisms were collected from the RCSB Protein Data Bank. Considering one suitable exemplary sequence from each group is being compared with others. Primary, secondary, and tertiary structures are determined by in silico models. Different physical parameters, viz., pI, molecular weight, instability index, aliphatic index, GRAVY, and presence of functional motifs, are determined, and a phylogenetic tree has been constructed to elucidate relationships with other groups of organisms. Conclusions: This study provides novel insights into distribution of chitinase among four groups and their characterization. The results represent valuable information toward bacterial chitinase in terms of the catalytic properties and structural features, can be exploited to produce a range of chitin-derived products.

Original languageEnglish
Article number19
JournalJournal of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Chitinase
  • Phylogenetic relationships
  • Physical parameters
  • Structural and functional analysis


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