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Amino-Acid Homopolymers Occurring in Nature

Series: Microbiology Monographs Volume: 15

By: Hamano and Yoshimitsu Hamano


Hardback | Jul 2010 | #187460 | ISBN-13: 9783642124525
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NHBS Price: £179.99 $235/€200 approx

About this book

Microorganisms are capable of producing a wide variety of biopolymers. Homopolymer peptides, which are made up of only a single type of amino acid, are far less ubiquitous. The only two amino-acid homopolymers known to occur in nature are presented in this volume. Poly-epsilon-L-lysine is a polycationic peptide and exhibits antimicrobial activity against a wide spectrum of microorganisms. It is both safe and biodegradable and is therefore used as a food preservative in several countries.

In addition, there has been great interest in medical and other applications of poly-lysine and its derivatives. In contrast, poly-gamma-glutamic acid is an unusual anionic polypeptide. It is also water soluble, biodegradable, edible, non-toxic and non-immunogenic and can be chemically modified to introduce various drugs. These features are very useful for pharmaceutical and biomedical applications. Poly-glutamic acid is also a highly attractive as a food ingredient.


Munenori Takehara, Hideo Hirohara: Occurrence and biosynthesis of poly-epsilon-L-lysine in microorganisms; Yoshimitsu Hamano: Biochemistry and enzymology of poly-epsilon-L-lysine biosynthesis; Toyokazu Yoshida: Biochemistry and enzymology of poly-epsilon-L-lysine degradation; Kazuya Yamanaka, Yoshimitsu Hamano: Biotechnological production of poly-epsilon-L-lysine for food and medical applications; Makoto Ashiuchi: Occurrence and biosynthetic mechanism of poly-gamma-glutamic acid; Keitarou Kimura: Enzymic degradation of poly-gamma-glutamic acid; Takami Akagi, Michiya Matsusaki, Mitsuru Akashi: Pharmaceutical and medical applications of poly-gamma-glutamic acid; Hiroyuki Tanimoto: Food applications of poly-gamma-glutamic acid.

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