• Chris W Michiels

      Articles written in Journal of Biosciences

    • Lysozymes in the animal kingdom

      Lien Callewaert Chris W Michiels

      More Details Abstract Fulltext PDF

      Lysozymes (EC 3.2.1.17) are hydrolytic enzymes, characterized by their ability to cleave the 𝛽-(1,4)-glycosidic bond between 𝑁-acetylmuramic acid and 𝑁-acetylglucosamine in peptidoglycan, the major bacterial cell wall polymer. In the animal kingdom, three major distinct lysozyme types have been identified – the c-type (chicken or conventional type), the g-type (goose-type) and the i-type (invertebrate type) lysozyme. Examination of the phylogenetic distribution of these lysozymes reveals that c-type lysozymes are predominantly present in the phylum of the Chordata and in different classes of the Arthropoda. Moreover, g-type lysozymes (or at least their corresponding genes) are found in members of the Chordata, as well as in some bivalve mollusks belonging to the invertebrates. In general, the latter animals are known to produce i-type lysozymes. Although the homology in primary structure for representatives of these three lysozyme types is limited, their three-dimensional structures show striking similarities. Nevertheless, some variation exists in their catalytic mechanisms and the genomic organization of their genes. Regarding their biological role, the widely recognized function of lysozymes is their contribution to antibacterial defence but, additionally, some lysozymes (belonging to different types) are known to function as digestive enzymes.

    • Invertebrate lysozymes: Diversity and distribution, molecular mechanism and in vivo function

      Joris M Van Herreweghe Chris W Michiels

      More Details Abstract Fulltext PDF

      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.

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