Amino-Acid Homopolymers Occurring in Nature
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.
Presents the current knowledge of polyaminoacids and the most recent advances in their industrial and medical applicationsA valuable source of information for scientists in basic research as well as in the pharmaceutical and food industryWritten by experts in their field