Chitinase: (Technical Classification > Alignment Quality > High > RefOG024) - Chitinases (EC. hydrolyze the chitin, an abundant polysaccharide that is a structural component of protective biological matrices such as insect exoskeletons and fungal cell walls. The glycoside hydrolase 18 (GH18) family of chitinases is an ancient gene family widely expressed in archea, bacteria and eukaryota. The origin of GH18 family dates back to bilaterian evolution; however, the family has undergone several lineage-specific duplications and losses (Funkhouser & Aronson Jr, 2007) indicating the selective pressure that exist on the family. In vertebrates, the chitinases are involved in pathogen recognition justifying the fast pace of evolution.
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