Lysozymes are antibacterial enzymes widely distributed among organisms. Within the animal kingdom, mainly three major lysozyme types occur. Chicken (c)-type lysozyme and goose (g)-type lysozyme are predominantly, but not exclusively, found in vertebrate animals, while the invertebrate (i)-type lysozyme is typical for invertebrate organisms, and hence its name. Since their discovery in 1975, numerous research articles report on the identification of i-type lysozymes in a variety of invertebrate phyla. This review describes the current knowledge on i-type lysozymes, outlining their distribution, molecular mechanism and in vivo function taking the representative from Venerupis philippinarum (formerly Tapes japonica) (Vp-ilys) as a model. In addition, invertebrate g-type and ch-type (chalaropsis) lysozymes, which have been described in molluscs and nematodes, respectively, are also briefly discussed.
Volume 44 | Issue 5
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