holin (plural holins)

  1. (biology) Any of a diverse group of small proteins produced by dsDNA bacteriophages in order to trigger and control the degradation of the host's cell wall at the end of the lytic cycle.
    • 2001 December 7, Jutta M. Loeffler et al., “Rapid Killing of Streptococcus pneumoniae with a Bacteriophage Cell Wall Hydrolase”, in Science[1], volume 294, number 5549, DOI:10.1126/science.1066869, pages 2170-2172:
      All known pneumococcal phages contain a cell wall lytic system consisting of a holin that permeabilizes the cell membrane, and either an N-acetylmuramoyl-L-alanine amidase (amidase) or a lysozyme, capable of digesting the pneumococcal cell wall (8 ).

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