definition of chitin-binding proteins

Are Kristiansen arekrist at kjemi.unit.no
Fri Oct 31 03:31:44 EST 1997

Dear glycoscientists and protein scientists,

I am searching for a clear definition or a consensus among scientists on
the meaning of the term "chitin-binding proteins".

Raikhel et al. (Annu. Rev. Plant Physiol. Plant Mol. Biol. 1993
44:591-615) says that "chitin-binding proteins" denotes the family of
proteins containing one or more chitin-binding domains, where
chitin-binding domains are defined as the common structural motif of
30-43 amino acids (cysteine rich domain) found in e.g. hevein, WGA etc.

This is a very precise definition. Is it generally acknowledged? What
about glycosyl hydrolases such as chitinases? Would I be very wrong in
including these proteins in the term "chitin-binding proteins"? And what
about lysozyme? It can be argued that it is a chitin-binding enzyme
although chitin is perhaps not its naturally occurring substrate.

Any information, comments or references to literature is highly

Best regards
Are Kristiansen
Ph. D. student
Norwegian Biopolymer Laboratory (NOBIPOL)
Dept. of Biotechnology
Norwegian University of Science and Technology

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