The hyaluronidases (EC 18.104.22.168) are a family of enzymes that degrade hyaluronic acid.
The enzyme increases tissue permeability, and consequently is used in conjunction with other drugs, to speed their dispersion and delivery. The most common example is opthalmic surgery, where it is used in combination with local anesthetics.
Some bacteria produce hyaluronidase.
In human fertilization, hyaluronidase is released by the acrosome of the sperm cell after it has reached the oocyte. Hyaluronidase aids in digesting proteins in the zona pellucida, thus enabling conception.
Brand names include Vitrase® (ISTA Pharmaceuticals) and Wydase®.