Chitosanases (EC 18.104.22.168) are enzymes that catalyze the hydrolysis of
chitosan, but not chitin. They are defined as carbohydrolases that hydrolyze
partially N-acetylated chitosan, splitting the β-1,4-glycosidic linkages
except the N-acetyl-glucosamine homo-linkages (GlcNAc-GlcNAc) [1,E1]. From the
view point of sequence and folding similarities chitosanases belong to
families 46, 75 or 80 in the classification of glycosyl hydrolases [2,E2].
Chitosanases of families 46 and 80 are enzymes from bacteria and Chlorella
viruses that share a conserved active site-related module . This module
includes several amino acids essential for enzyme activity and (or) stability
as shown by site-directed mutagenesis studies.
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