Human Parasite Drug Targets

Chitinases hydrolyze the β1-4 linkages of chitin, an unbranched polymer of β1-4 linked N-acetyl-D-glucosamine (GlcNAc). Since chitin is the second most abundant polymer in nature, many organisms including prokaryotes, vertebrates, plants, fungi and insects produce chitinases with roles in nutrition, morphogenesis, aggression and defense.

Chitinases are separated into two families of glycohydrolases (18 and 19) based on their hydrolytic  mechanisms. The chitinases available from NEB, Brugia malayi chitinase (NEB #P5205), Onchocerca volvulus chitinase (NEB #P5206) and Plasmodium falciparum chitinase (NEB #P5208), are all family 18 glycohydrolases.