More than seventy years after Fleming's discovery of lysozyme, this enzyme continues to play a crucial role as a model enzyme in protein chemistry, enzymology, crystallography, molecular biology and genetics, immunology and also in evolutionary biology. The classical representative of this widespread enzyme family is the hen egg-white lysozyme. Chicken (c)-type lysozymes have also been characterized in many other animals including mammals, reptiles and invertebrates. Besides this c-type lysozyme, other distinct types, differing on the basis of structural, catalytic and immunological critera, have been described as well, these in birds, phages, bacteria, fungi, invertebrates and plants. The specificity, however, of all these enzymes is the same: they cleave a ß-glycosidic bond between the C-1 of N-acetylmuramic acid and the C-4 of N-acetylglucosamine of the bacterial peptidoglycan. In this volume special emphasis is placed on results obtained during the last ten years. Lysozymes are by no means merely defence or, in certain cases, digestion enzymes. In fact, peptidoglycan fragments released by the lytic action of this enzyme family can trigger the synthesis of immunostimulating or antibacterial substances, and a host of other unexpected, biological reactions may be provoked by lysozymes as well. As Fleming has prophesized: ''We shall hear more about lysozyme''.
Table of ContentsFrom the discovery of lysozyme to the characterization of several lysozyme families.- Lysozyme: A model enzyme in protein chemistry.- Animal lysozymes c and g: An overview.- Discovery of several families of lysozymes.- Phage lysozymes.- Bacterial lysozymes.- Plant lysozymes.- Insect lysozymes.- Lysozyme: A model enzyme in enzymology.- Lysozyme substrates.- Simulations of lysozyme: Internal motions and the reaction mechanism.- Folding of lysozyme.- Engineering of lysozyme.- Lysozyme: A model enzyme in protein crystallography.- Lysozyme: A model enzyme in protein crystallography.- Lysozyme: A model enzyme in molecular biology and genetics.- Isolation and characterization of vertebrate lysozyme genes.- Lysozyme gene expression and regulation.- Lysozyme: A model enzyme in immunology.- Polyclonal antisera elicited by lysozymes: Insights into antigenic structure and evolution.- Molecular recognition of lysozyme by monoclonal antibodies.- The crystal structures of complexes formed between lysozyme and antibody fragments.- Lysozyme: A model enzyme in evolution.- Adaptive evolution of lysozyme: Changes in amino acid sequence, regulation of expression and gene number.- Molecular evolution of ruminant lysozymes.- Proteins and enzymes related to the lysozyme family.- ?-Lactalbumins and lysozymes.- Evidence for lysozyme-type mechanism of hydrolysis in xylan-ases.- Lytic transglycosylases.- Pharmacological aspects and therapeutic applications of lysozymes.- Pharmacological aspects and therapeutic applications of lyso zymes.