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Enzyme in tears and bacteriophages, dissolves bacteria

Lysozyme destroys the mucopolysacharide component of the cell walls of some gram-positive bacteria. Discovered in 1921 (published 1922 [1] by Alexander Fleming and now known to be coded for on chromosome 12.[2]

The molecule is 130 amino-acid residues long.

Relation to disease

An abnormal - amyloidogenic - lysozyme is involved in renal amyloidosis[3] and several other amyloid conditions are due to mutated forms of it.

See also


  1. Fleming A. (1922) On a remarkable becteriolytic element found in tissues and secretion. Proc Roy Soc Ser B, 93, 306-317]