- Autolysis (biology)
In biology autolysis may refer to the destruction of a cell through the action of its own
enzymes. It may also refer to the digestion of an enzyme by another molecule of the same enzyme. The term derives from the Greek words "αυτό" ("self") and "λύσις" ("splitting").
Autolytic cell destruction is uncommon in adult organisms and usually occurs in injured cells or dying tissue. Autolysis is initiated by the cells
lysosomes releasing the digestive enzymes they contain out into the cytoplasm. The cell then, in effect, starts to digest itself. Autolysis of individual cell organelles can be lessened if the organelle is stored in ice-cold isotonicbuffer after cell fractionation.
In the food industry, autolysis involves killing the
yeastand encouraging the breakdown of the cells by enzymes. It is used to give different flavors. For yeast extract, this process is triggered by the addition of salt.
breadbaking, the term (or, more commonly, its French cognate "autolyse") is used to describe a hydration rest between the mixing and kneading of the dough that allows the glutenin the dough to rest and simplifies the shaping process of the finished dough. The term was coined by French baking professor Raymond Calvel.
* [http://www.soilandhealth.org/02/0201hyglibcat/020127shelton.III/020127.ch5.htm "Understanding autolysis allopathically"]
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