Amino-Acid Homopolymers Occurring in Nature

  • Yoshimitsu Hamano

Part of the Microbiology Monographs book series (MICROMONO, volume 15)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-vii
  2. Munenori Takehara, Hideo Hirohara
    Pages 1-22
  3. Keitarou Kimura, Zui Fujimoto
    Pages 95-117
  4. Takami Akagi, Michiya Matsusaki, Mitsuru Akashi
    Pages 119-153
  5. Hiroyuki Tanimoto
    Pages 155-168
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 169-171

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 food ingredient.


Amino acid Biopolymers Glutamic acid Lysine Polyaminoacids biochemistry microorganism

Editors and affiliations

  • Yoshimitsu Hamano
    • 1
  1. 1., Department of BioscienceFukui Prefectural UniversityFukuiJapan

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010
  • Publisher Name Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
  • eBook Packages Biomedical and Life Sciences
  • Print ISBN 978-3-642-12452-5
  • Online ISBN 978-3-642-12453-2
  • Series Print ISSN 1862-5576
  • Series Online ISSN 1862-5584
  • Buy this book on publisher's site