Label-free monitoring of crystalline chitin hydrolysis by chitinase based on Raman spectroscopy†
We demonstrate a method for label-free monitoring of hydrolytic activity of crystalline-chitin-degrading enzyme, chitinase, by means of Raman spectroscopy. We found that crystalline chitin exhibited a characteristic Raman peak at 2995 cm−1, which did not appear in the reaction product, N,N′-diacetylchitobiose. We used this Raman peak as a marker of crystalline chitin degradation to monitor the hydrolytic activity of chitinase. When the crystalline chitin suspension and chitinase were mixed together, the peak intensity of crystalline chitin at 2995 cm−1 was linearly decreased depending on incubation time. The decrease in peak intensity was inversely correlated with the increase in the amount of released N,N′-diacetylchitobiose, which was measured by conventional colorimetric assay with alkaline ferricyanide. Our result, presented here, provides a new method for simple, in situ, and label-free monitoring of enzymatic activity of chitinase.