Chitin as a Glycoprotein

David Ashford da5 at york.ac.uk
Tue Jan 21 05:01:04 EST 1997


Ralph,

Is chitin really a glycoprotein? There is good evidence that other 
polysaccharides are built up on a protein or peptide primer eg glycogen. 
But to have such a high proportion of bound protein is unusual.

Is anything known about the carbohydrate-protein linkage? The observation 
that the protein moiety can be extracted from chitin under such mild 
conditions 0.1 mM NaOH suggests that it might not be attached covalently or 
at least not through the common N- or O-glycosidic linkage.

David Ashford

*************************************************************************
   Dr David A. Ashford                                                  
   Glycobiology: Research & Analytical                                
   Department of Biology                                                
   University of York                         Tel: (44)(0)1904 434391   
   P.O. Box 373                               Fax: (44)(0)1904 434312   
   York  YO1 5YW                              Email:  da5 at york.ac.uk    
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On 20 Jan 1997 20:50:16 -0800 Ralph Gainey wrote:

> From: Ralph Gainey <sesame at MCN.ORG>
> Date: 20 Jan 1997 20:50:16 -0800
> Subject: Chitin as a Glycoprotein
> To: "bionet.glycosci mail newsgroup" <bionet-news at dl.ac.uk>
> 
> I am interested in the protein moiety of chitin.
> I am aware of the following:
> (1) Chitin from the Vella lata float is approximately 50/50
>                  N-acetylglucosamine-protein.
> (2) In this animal it occurs as an extra-cellular topologically
> continuous surface laid down in some biological cycle as laminar sheets.
> (3) Essentially the same system of structural usage occurs in the octopus
> and squid "pens".
> (4) The protein separates from the carbohydrate cleanly in 0.0001N NaOH > 
when naturally ocurring chitin from these animals is dried and ground
> to 800 mesh or finer in a puck mill. (AA analyzer results)
> (5) There is a complete enzyme system for both synthesis and hydrolysis.
> Has anyone analyzed the protein moiety of chitin?
> With warm regards,
> Ralph Gainey






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