Chitin-metabolizing products are of high industrial relevance in current scenario due to their wide biological applications, relatively lower cost, greater abundance, and sustainable supply. Chitooligosaccharides have remarkably wide spectrum of applications in therapeutics such as antitumor agents, immunomodulators, drug delivery, gene therapy, wound dressings, as chitinase inhibitors to prevent malaria. Hypocholesterolemic and antimicrobial activities of chitooligosaccharides make them a molecule of choice for food industry, and their functional profile depends on the physicochemical characteristics. Recently, chitin-based nanomaterials are also gaining tremendous importance in biomedical and agricultural applications. Crystallinity and insolubility of chitin imposes a major hurdle in the way of polymer utilization. Chemical production processes are known to produce chitooligosaccharides with variable degree of polymerization and properties along with ecological concerns. Biological production routes mainly involve chitinases, chitosanases, and chitin-binding proteins. Development of bio-catalytic production routes for chitin will not only enhance the production of commercially viable chitooligosaccharides with defined molecular properties but will also provide a means to combat marine pollution with value addition.
Marine Biotechnology – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 10, 2018
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