Human lysozyme has fungicidal activity against nasal fungi

Flinders ENT, Department of Surgery, Flinders University and Flinders Medical Centre, Adelaide, Australia.
American Journal of Rhinology and Allergy (Impact Factor: 1.81). 06/2011; 25(4):236-40. DOI: 10.2500/ajra.2011.25.3631
Source: PubMed


The cationic antimicrobial peptide lysozyme is the most prevalent innate immune protein in nasal secretions but there is a paucity of research regarding its role in paranasal sinus disease. Lysozyme is generally regarded as an antibacterial agent; however, some data suggest activity toward yeast. This study was designed to determine if lysozyme displays fungicidal activity toward fungi commonly identified in patients with chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) or fungal sinusitis.
Using a colony-forming unit assay the fungicidal activity of lysozyme (0, 0.5, 5, and 50 micromolar; 0- to 7-hour treatment) was tested against strains of Aspergillus fumigatus, the yeast Candida albicans, and other fungi commonly identified in mucin of patients with CRS. Fungi cultured directly from the mucin of two CRS patients were also tested to determine if they were resistant to the fungicidal activity of lysozyme.
The fungicidal effect of lysozyme was both concentration and time dependent. After 7-hour treatment lysozyme (5 micromolar) had >80% fungicidal activity against A. fumigatus, Penicillium sp., Acremonium sp., C. albicans, and Candida parapsilosis. The fungicidal activity of lysozyme toward Alternaria alternata could not be determined. Lysozyme was also fungicidal toward the clinical isolates A. fumigatus and Aspergillus terreus cultured from the mucin of CRS patients.
Lysozyme displays fungicidal activity toward many fungi commonly identified in patients with CRS, as well as clinical fungi isolates cultured from the mucin of CRS patients. Additional studies are required to determine the regulation of lysozyme in CRS.

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    • "hLYZ functions as a bactericide by catalyzing the hydrolysis of b-1,4 glucosidic bond in mucopolysaccharides in the bacterial cell wall, directly in the case of Gram-positive bacteria and indirectly the via the effects of secretory immunoglobulin A and complement in gram-negative bacteria (Woods et al. 2011). Thus, this protein has been widely used for both medical and industrial purposes. "
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    ABSTRACT: A vector expressing human lysozyme (pBC1-hLYZ-GFP-Neo) was evaluated for gene and protein expression following liposome-mediated transformation of C-127 mouse mammary cancer cells. Cultures of G418-resistant clones were harvested 24-72 h after induction with prolactin, insulin and hydrocortisone. Target gene expression was analyzed by RT-PCR and Western blot and recombinant human lysozyme (rhLYZ) bacteriostatic activity was also evaluated. The hLYZ gene was correctly transcribed and translated in C-127 cells and hLYZ inhibited gram-positive bacterial growth, indicating the potential of this expression vector for development of a mammary gland bioreactor in goats. Guanzhong dairy goat skin fibroblasts transfected with pBC1-hLYZ-GFP-Neo were used to construct a goat embryo transgenically expressing rhLYZ by somatic nuclear transplantation with a blastocyst rate of 9.0 ± 2.8 %. These data establish the basis for cultivation of mastitis-resistant hLYZ transgenic goats.
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    • "Lysozyme is a major component of nasal secretions and was always seen as an important antibacterial defense protein given its ability to break down bacterial cell wall. Woods and coworkers [29] now have shown that lysozyme can also play a role in the fight against fungi, as growth in cultures from multiple species, including Aspergillus, Penicillium, and Candida, is susceptible to lysozyme. This was also true for clinical isolates from CRS patients, showing that selection of fungi not responsive to lysozyme is not part of the pathological mechanism in CRS. "
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