Addition of lysozyme (1 g/l) to sputum from patients with chronic obstructive lung disease increased the viscosity of the material significantly. The effect was prevented by addition of salt (LiCl) in the high concentration (0.25 mol/l). The sole addition of salt decreased the viscosity of native sputum. These results together with our earlier  studies of the interaction between the positively charged lysozyme and the negatively charged mucin molecules in model systems, indicate that lysozyme acts as a cross-linking agent in mucus by an electrostatic mechanism. Lysozyme is thus, at least partly, responsible for building up a macromolecular network giving mucus its characteristic gel-like properties.