ingredient information
Large amounts of lysozyme can be found in egg whites. C-type lysozymes are closely related to alpha-lactalbumin in sequence and structure making them part of the same family. Most of the bacteria affected by lysozyme are not pathogenic. In some cases, lysozyme is a primary reason these organisms do not become pathogenic. Lysozyme can act to some extent as an innate opsonin, or as an actively lytic enzyme. Lysozyme serves as a non-specific innate opsonin by binding to the bacterial surface, reducing the negative charge and facilitating phagocytosis of the bacterium before opsonins from the acquired immune system arrive at the scene. In other words, lysozyme makes it easier for phagocytic white blood cells to engulf bacteria. The enzyme functions by attacking peptidoglycans (found in the cells walls of bacteria, especially Gram-positive bacteria) and hydrolyzing the glycosidic bond that connects N-acetylmuramic acid with the fourth carbon atom of N-acetylglucosamine. It does this by binding to the peptidoglycan molecule in the binding site within the prominent cleft between its two domains. This causes the substrate molecule to adopt a strained conformation similar to that of the transition state. According to Phillips-Mechanism the lysozyme binds to a hexasaccharide. The lysozyme then distorts the 4th sugar in hexasaccharide (the D ring) into a half-chair conformation. In this stressed state the glycosidic bond is easily broken. The amino acid side chains glutamic acid 35 (Glu35) and aspartate 52 (Asp52) have been found to be critical to the activity of this enzyme. Glu35 acts as a proton donor to the glycosidic bond, cleaving the C-O bond in the substrate, whilst Asp52 acts as a nucleophile to generate a glycosyl enzyme intermediate. The glycosyl enzyme intermediate then reacts with a water molecule, to give the product of hydrolysis and leaving the enzyme unchanged.