Human Chitotriosidase Is an Endo-Processive EnzymeReport as inadecuate

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Human chitotriosidase HCHT is involved in immune response to chitin-containing pathogens in humans. The enzyme is able to degrade chitooligosaccharides as well as crystalline chitin. The catalytic domain of HCHT is connected to the carbohydrate binding module CBM through a flexible hinge region. In humans, two active isoforms of HCHT are found–the full length enzyme and its truncated version lacking CBM and the hinge region. The active site architecture of HCHT is reminiscent to that of the reducing-end exo-acting processive chitinase ChiA from bacterium Serratia marcescens SmChiA. However, the presence of flexible hinge region and occurrence of two active isoforms are reminiscent to that of non-processive endo-chitinase from S. marcescens, SmChiC. Although the studies on soluble chitin derivatives suggest the endo-character of HCHT, the mode of action of the enzyme on crystalline chitin is not known. Here, we made a thorough characterization of HCHT in terms of the mode of action, processivity, binding, and rate constants for the catalysis and dissociation using α-chitin as substrate. HCHT efficiently released the end-label from reducing-end labelled chitin and had also high probability 95% of endo-mode initiation of processive run. These results qualify HCHT as an endo-processive enzyme. Processivity and the rate constant of dissociation of HCHT were found to be in-between those, characteristic to processive exo-enzymes, like SmChiA and randomly acting non-processive endo-enzymes, like SmChiC. Apart from increasing the affinity for chitin, CBM had no major effect on kinetic properties of HCHT.

Author: Silja Kuusk , Morten Sørlie, Priit Väljamäe



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