From Big Medical Encyclopedia

HITYN — nitrogen-containing connection from group of natural polysaccharides. It is eurysynusic in the nature, participates in formation of an outside skeleton (cuticle) of arthropod and nek-ry other backboneless animals, cell walls of mushrooms and a number of microorganisms.

On biol. to a role, chemical structure and physical. - to chemical properties is ana-logokhm cellulose (see). Chitin is chemically inert, is not dissolved in water, organic solvents, diluted acids and alkalis. Biosynthesis of chitin proceeds by means of a hitinsintaza (KF Biol. splitting of chitin is carried out; enzyme the chitinase found in nek-ry bacteria, a number of soil amoebas in a digestive tract of nek-ry snails, earthworms. Chitin and products of its splitting in the soil turn into guminopodob-ny connections and promote accumulation of nitrogen in the soil. Chitin is used sometimes as a starting material during the receiving D - gluco-zamina, applied in klinikobiokhimichesky practice.

Bibliography: Kochetkov N. K., etc. Chemistry of carbohydrates, page 478, etc., M., 1967; Foster A. Century of a. Webber J. M of Chitin, Advanc. Carbohyd. Chem., v. 15, p. 371, 1960. V. K. Gorodetsky.