Cell wall lytic enzymes are valuable tools for the biotechnologist, with many applications in medicine, the food industry, and agriculture, and for recovering of intracellular products from yeast or bacteria. The diversity of potential applications has conducted to the development of lytic enzyme systems with specific characteristics, suitable for satisfying the requirements of each particular application. Since the first time the lytic enzyme of excellence, lysozyme, was discovered, many investigations have contributed to the understanding of the action mechanisms and other basic aspects of these interesting enzymes. Today, recombinant production and protein engineering have improved and expanded the area of potential applications. In this review, some of the recent advances in specific enzyme systems for bacteria and yeast cells rupture and other applications are examined. Emphasis is focused in biotechnological aspects of these enzymes.
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