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On the catalytic mechanism of bacteriophage endolysins: Opportunities for engineering.

Abstract

Bacteriophage endolysins have the potential to be a long-term antibacterial replacement for antibiotics. The exogenous application of endolysins on some bacteria results in rapid cell lysis. The prospects for endolysins are furthered by the ability to engineer them; novel endolysins can be developed with optimised stability, specificity, and lytic function. But the success of endolysin engineering and application requires a comprehensive understanding of the relationship between the enzymes biochemical, biophysical and bacteriolytic properties. Here, we examine their catalytic mechanisms, opportunities for developing novel endolysins, and highlight areas where a better understanding would support their long-term success as antibacterial agents.

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