Research on Chemical Intermediates

, Volume 45, Issue 2, pp 727–742 | Cite as

The isolation of chitinase from Streptomyces thermocarboxydus and its application in the preparation of chitin oligomers

  • Thi Ngoc Tran
  • Chien Thang Doan
  • Van Bon Nguyen
  • Anh Dzung Nguyen
  • San-Lang WangEmail author


Microbial chitinase has received great attention due to its medical, biological, and agricultural applications. In this study, over 50 bacterial strains were isolated from Taiwanese soils using medium containing squid pen powder (SPP) as the sole source of carbon/nitrogen. Based on chitinolytic activity, Streptomyces thermocarboxydus TKU045 was selected for further study. Optimized culture conditions revealed that S. thermocarboxydus TKU045 could produce the highest chitinase activity (52.985 U/mL) when cultured in a medium containing 1% (w/v) SPP at 45 °C for 36 h. Characterized TKU045 chitinase showed novel properties with a smallest molecular weight (12.8 kDa by sodium dodecyl sulfate–polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis analysis) and more acidic optimal pH (pH 4) than those of other Streptomyces chitinases. A combination of high-performance liquid chromatography and matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time of flight mass spectrometer data revealed that chitin oligomers (COS) obtained from the hydrolysis of colloidal chitin by TKU045 chitinase comprise oligomers with multiple degrees of polymerization (DP) varying from 1 to 7. The COS with low DP exhibited enhanced 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl radical scavenging capability and promoted the growth of Lactobacillus lactis. Taken together, the COS obtained by hydrolyzing colloidal chitin with TKU045 chitinase could have the potential to be used in medicine or nutraceuticals due to its active anti-oxidant and prebiotic contents.


Chitin Chitinase Squid pens Anti-oxidant Prebiotic Streptomyces thermocarboxydus 



This work was supported in part by a grant from the Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan (MOST 106-2320-B-032-001-MY3).

Author Contributions

Conceived the study: S-LW. Designed and performed the study: S-LW, TNT. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: S-LW. Analyzed data: TNT, CTD, VBN, ADN. Wrote the paper: S-LW, TNT.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest

Supplementary material

11164_2018_3639_MOESM1_ESM.docx (105 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 104 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ChemistryTamkang UniversityNew Taipei CityTaiwan
  2. 2.Department of Science and TechnologyTay Nguyen UniversityBuon Ma ThuotVietnam
  3. 3.Institute of Biotechnology and EnvironmentTay Nguyen UniversityBuon Ma ThuotVietnam
  4. 4.Life Science Development CenterTamkang UniversityNew Taipei CityTaiwan

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