A pathway for chitin oxidation in marine bacteria

October 17, 2022


A pathway for chitin oxidation in marine bacteria


Wen-Xin Jiang, Ping-Yi Li, Xiu-Lan Chen, Yi-Shuo Zhang, Jing-Ping Wang, Yan-Jun Wang, Qi Sheng, Zhong-Zhi Sun, Qi-Long Qin, Xue-Bing Ren, Peng Wang, Xiao-Yan Song, Yin Chen & Yu-Zhong Zhang




Nature Communications


Oxidative degradation of chitin, initiated by lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases (LPMOs), contributes to microbial bioconversion of crystalline chitin, the second most abundant biopolymer in nature. However, our knowledge of oxidative chitin utilization pathways, beyond LPMOs, is very limited. Here, we describe a complete pathway for oxidative chitin degradation and its regulation in a marine bacterium, Pseudoalteromonas prydzensis. The pathway starts with LPMO-mediated extracellular breakdown of chitin into C1-oxidized chitooligosaccharides, which carry a terminal 2-(acetylamino)−2-deoxy-D-gluconic acid (GlcNAc1A). Transmembrane transport of oxidized chitooligosaccharides is followed by their hydrolysis in the periplasm, releasing GlcNAc1A, which is catabolized in the cytoplasm. This pathway differs from the known hydrolytic chitin utilization pathway in enzymes, transporters and regulators. In particular, GlcNAc1A is converted to 2-keto-3-deoxygluconate 6-phosphate, acetate and NH3 via a series of reactions resembling the degradation of D-amino acids rather than other monosaccharides. Furthermore, genomic and metagenomic analyses suggest that the chitin oxidative utilization pathway may be prevalent in marine Gammaproteobacteria.




pathway, chitin, oxidation, marine, bacteria, LPMOs, amino acid