Autolysis (biology)

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").

Cell destruction

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 isotonic buffer after cell fractionation.


In the food industry, autolysis involves killing the yeast and 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.

In bread baking, 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 gluten in the dough to rest and simplifies the shaping process of the finished dough. The term was coined by French baking professor Raymond Calvel.

ee also

* Apoptosis
* Sub-lethal damage

External links

* [ "Understanding autolysis allopathically"]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • autolysis — [ɔ: tɒlɪsɪs] noun Biology the destruction of cells or tissues by their own enzymes. Derivatives autolytic adjective …   English new terms dictionary

  • autolysis — UK [ɔːˈtɒlɪsɪs] / US [ɔˈtɑlɪsɪs] noun [uncountable] biology a process in which plant or animals cells are destroyed by their own natural chemicals …   English dictionary

  • Cadaver — For other uses, see Cadaver (disambiguation). Corpse redirects here. For other uses, see Corpse (disambiguation). A corpse, also called a cadaver in medical, literary, and legal usage or when intended for dissection, is a dead human body.[1][2]… …   Wikipedia

  • GC-content — (or guanine cytosine content), in molecular biology, is the percentage of nitrogenous bases on a DNA molecule which are either guanine or cytosine (from a possibility of four different ones, also including adenine and thymine). [… …   Wikipedia

  • Yeast — of the species Saccharomyces cerevisiae Scientific classification Domain …   Wikipedia

  • Lysosome — s: (1) nucleolus (2) nucleus (3) ribosomes (little dots) (4) vesicle (5) rough endoplasmic reticulum (ER) (6) Golgi apparatus (7) Cytoskeleton (8) smooth endoplasmic reticulum (9) mitochondria (10) vacuole (11) cytoplasm (12) lysosome (13)… …   Wikipedia

  • Serine protease — Serine Peptidase Crystal structure of bovine chymotrypsin. The catalytic residues are shown as yellow sticks. Rendered from PDB 1CBW. Identifiers …   Wikipedia

  • poison — poisoner, n. poisonless, adj. poisonlessness, n. /poy zeuhn/, n. 1. a substance with an inherent property that tends to destroy life or impair health. 2. something harmful or pernicious, as to happiness or well being: the poison of slander. 3.… …   Universalium

  • Microbial cooperation — Microorganisms engage in a wide variety of social interactions, including cooperation. A cooperative behavior is one that benefits an individual (the recipient) other than the one performing the behavior (the actor).[1] This article outlines the… …   Wikipedia

  • Apoptosis — (IPA en|ˌæpəpˈtoʊsəs [ [ dictionary entry] ] ) is a form of programmed cell death in multicellular organisms. It is one of the main types of programmed cell death (PCD) and involves a series… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.