The substrate specificity was studied for the metabolic degradation of N-acetyl-D-glucosamine (GlcNAc) derivatives by Rhodococcus rhodochrous IFO 15564 which possesses N-acetyl-D-glucosamine deacetylase as a key-step enzyme. This microorganism degraded a wide range of substrates with modified N-acyl groups. The metabolizing activity of this strain became low to the substrates substituted at 1,3,4,6-positions of GlcNAc, and GlcNAc itself was suggested to be metabolized via an open-chain aldehyde form. Based on these results, a simplified procedure for the isolation of allyl α-N-acetyl-D-glucosaminide from an α, β-anomeric mixture was developed by selectively hydrolyzing the β-anomer with Jackbean β-N-acetyl-D-glucosaminidase and subsequently degrading the resulting N-acetyl-D-glucosamine in the reaction mixture with this microorganism.
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