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Mar. Drugs 2010, 8(9), 2493-2516; doi:10.3390/md8092493

N-Acetylglucosamine: Production and Applications

1 Department of Environment and Biotechnology, Refining & Manufacturing Research Institute, CPC Corporation, 217 Min-Sheng S. Rd, Chiayi, Taiwan 2 Department of Medical Biotechnology and Laboratory Science, Chang Gung University, Kweishan, Taoyuan, 259 Wen-Hwa 1st Road, Kweishan, Taoyuan, Taiwan 3 Graduate School of Biochemical Engineering and Department of Chemical Engineering, Ming Chi University of Technology, Taishan, Taipei, 84 Gung-Juan Road, Taishan, Taipei, Taiwan These authors contributed equally to this work.
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 March 2010 / Revised: 19 April 2010 / Accepted: 23 April 2010 / Published: 15 September 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Chitin and Chitosan)
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N-Acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) is a monosaccharide that usually polymerizes linearly through (1,4)-β-linkages. GlcNAc is the monomeric unit of the polymer chitin, the second most abundant carbohydrate after cellulose. In addition to serving as a component of this homogeneous polysaccharide, GlcNAc is also a basic component of hyaluronic acid and keratin sulfate on the cell surface. In this review, we discuss the industrial production of GlcNAc, using chitin as a substrate, by chemical, enzymatic and biotransformation methods. Also, newly developed methods to obtain GlcNAc using glucose as a substrate in genetically modified microorganisms are introduced. Moreover, GlcNAc has generated interest not only as an underutilized resource but also as a new functional material with high potential in various fields. Here we also take a closer look at the current applications of GlcNAc, and several new and cutting edge approaches in this fascinating area are thoroughly discussed.
Keywords: N-acetylglucosamine; chitin; carbohydrateN-acetylglucosamine; chitin; carbohydrate N-acetylglucosamine; chitin; carbohydrateN-acetylglucosamine; chitin; carbohydrate
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Chen, J.-K.; Shen, C.-R.; Liu, C.-L. N-Acetylglucosamine: Production and Applications. Mar. Drugs 2010, 8, 2493-2516.

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