Amino-Acid Homopolymers Occurring in Nature by Munenori Takehara, Hideo Hirohara (auth.), Yoshimitsu Hamano

By Munenori Takehara, Hideo Hirohara (auth.), Yoshimitsu Hamano (eds.)

Microorganisms are in a position to generating a large choice of biopolymers. Homopolymer peptides, that are made of just a unmarried kind of amino acid, are a long way much less ubiquitous. the single amino-acid homopolymers identified to ensue in nature are awarded during this quantity. Poly-epsilon-L-lysine is a polycationic peptide and indicates antimicrobial job opposed to a large spectrum of microorganisms. it really is either secure and biodegradable and is as a result used as a nutrients preservative in different international locations. moreover, there was nice curiosity in scientific and different purposes of poly-lysine and its derivatives. by contrast, poly-gamma-glutamic acid is an strange anionic polypeptide. it's also water soluble, biodegradable, safe to eat, non-toxic and non-immunogenic and will be chemically changed to introduce a variety of medicinal drugs. those good points are very precious for pharmaceutical and biomedical functions. Poly-glutamic acid can also be a hugely beautiful as foodstuff ingredient.

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1982), and because it is both safe and biodegradable, e-PL has been introduced as a food preservative in Japan, South Korea, the United States, and other countries. The biological activity of e-PL is known to be dependent on its molecular size. Shima and coworkers investigated the relationship between the molecular size of e-PL and its antimicrobial activity against Escherichia coli K-12 (Shima et al. 1984). e-PL with more than nine L-lysine residues severely inhibited microbial growth; however, the L-lysine octamer demonstrated negligible antimicrobial activity.

58 Abstract Poly-e-L-lysine (e-poly-L-lysine, e-PL) is used as a food additive on the basis of its strong antimicrobial activity (Fine chem 29:18–25, 2000). e-PL is industrially produced by fermentation process using Streptomyces albulus. Recently, the biosynthetic mechanism (Nat Chem Biol 4:766–772, 2008) and microbial degradation of e-PL (FEMS Microbiol Lett 207:147–151, 2002; Arch Microbiol 178:325–330, 2002; J Biosci Bioeng 96:92–94, 2003; Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 72:173–181, 2006) have been reported.

The best simple and Biochemistry and Enzymology of Poly-Epsilon-L-Lysine Degradation 47 rapid method to determine e-PL concentration is a colorimetric procedure using an anionic dye, methyl orange (Itzhaki 1972). In this method, e-PL interacts with methyl orange on the basis of its cationic property and forms a water-insoluble complex. e-PL concentration can be estimated from the absorbance at 465 nm of the methyl orange remaining in solution. Free L-lysine and short lengths of L-lysine polymers do not associate with methyl orange, and so the colorimetric method can estimate the total amount of long lengths of L-lysine polymers.

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