The hydrolysis of chitin by concentrated hydrochloric acid, and the preparation of low-molecular-weight substrate for lysozyme
The hydrolysis of chitin in solution in strong HCl was studied over a range of acid concentration and temperature. The data suggest that the rate of hydrolysis governed by the structure of the chitin. A simple procedure for the isolation of the oligosaccharides obtained from chitin was developed, for use in the preparation of low-molecular-weight substrates for lysozyme (N-acetylmuramide glycanohydrolase, EC 184.108.40.206). Experiments studying the lysozyme-catalyzed hydrolysis of these oligosaccharides showed a large effect of chain length upon the rate of hydrolysis, and no effect of ionic strength.