Endolysin is a generic term describing an
enzyme that degrades the bacterial peptidoglycan cell wall, resulting in
lysis of the bacterial cell.
At the end of the bacteriophage replication cycle,
bacteriophages have to release their newly formed progeny. The major barrier to overcome is
the peptidoglycan. To degrade this layer, bacteriophages contain endolysins.
Depending on the bond these enzymes cleave, we can distinguish
muramidases (lysozyme), transglycosylases,
amidases or endopeptidases.