Dictyostelium discoideum is a free-living soil amoeba which feeds upon bacteria. To bind, ingest, and kill bacteria, D. discoideum uses molecular mechanisms analogous to those found in professional phagocytic cells of multicellular organisms. D. discoideum is equipped with a large arsenal of antimicrobial peptides and proteins including amoebapore-like peptides and lysozymes. This review describes the family of lysozymes in D. discoideum. We identified 22 genes potentially encoding four different types of lysozymes in the D. discoideum genome. Although most of these genes are also present in the genomes of other amoebal species, no other organism is as well-equipped with lysozyme genes as D. discoideum.
Keywords: Amoeba; Dictyostelium discoideum; Lysozymes; Phylogenetic distribution; Protozoa.
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