Definition and function:
lysozyme (Alternative name: Muramidase or N-acetylmuramide Glycanhydrolase) is an important component of the innate immune system in humans. The enzyme belonging to the class of glycosidases hydrolyses the glycosidic linkage of the monosaccharides (carbohydrates) N-acetylmuramic acid and N-acetylglucosamine. Both carbohydrates are linked together via the glycosidic bond and are considered as a component of bacterial cell walls.
Detection of lysozyme can occur in almost all body fluids: saliva, amniotic fluid, tears, blood serum, earwax, mucus and breast milk. The lysozyme contained in it dissolves on contact with bacteria on their cell walls, whereby the cytoplasm of the bacterial cell escapes into the intercellular space. With the consequence of a dead bacterium.
The lysozyme works before the bacteria can invade the organism. Example: Permanent moistening of the eyes with tear fluid (containing muramidase) largely ensures that no bacteria penetrates through the mucous membranes in the eye area. Bacteria found on the ocular surface are suddenly dissolved and decomposed by the lysozyme.
Lysozyme is also used today in the food industry for the preservation of matured cheese or beer. The use of lysozyme should prevent the development of lactic acid bacteria in beer, which is not subject to sterile filtration or pasteurization processes. In addition, lysozymes in the wine industry can contribute to the review of biological acidification. Another use is found in an increase in resistance in the field of agriculture. Through heterologous expression of human lysozymes, plants become increasingly resistant to the formation of bacteria and fungi.