noun, plural: lysozymes
Lysozymes are glycosidases that assist in the hydrolysis of glycosidic bonds between N-acetyl muramic acid and N-acetyl glucosamine. These enzymes are therefore destructive to many bacteria since they can damage bacterial cell wall that is made up of [[peptidoglycan]. Peptidoglycan is a polysaccharide consisting of alternating polymers of N-acetylmuramic acid and N-acetylglucosamine linked by glycosidic bonds. Cell walls provide structural integrity to the bacterial cell and render protection especially from turgor pressure caused by high concentration of proteins and molecules inside the cell relative to the external environment. Without their functional cell wall, bacteria lose their cell shape and rigidity. Lysozymes found in egg albumin, saliva, mucus, lysosomes of phagocytic cells, and so on have antiseptic capability as they destroy the cell walls of certain bacteria (especially gram-positive bacteria). They also occur in human tears where they serve as the main defense against many eye infections, such as conjunctivitis.
- N-acetylmuramide glycanhydrolase