Funding Information This work was funded, in part, by JSPS KAKENHI, Grant-in-Aid for Challenging Exploratory Research (24655209).
Microbial production and chemical transformation of poly-γ-glutamate
Article first published online: 15 JUL 2013
© 2013 The Author. Microbial Biotechnology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Society for Applied Microbiology.
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Thematic Issue on Biomaterials
Volume 6, Issue 6, pages 664–674, November 2013
How to Cite
Ashiuchi, M. (2013), Microbial production and chemical transformation of poly-γ-glutamate. Microbial Biotechnology, 6: 664–674. doi: 10.1111/1751-7915.12072
- Issue published online: 11 OCT 2013
- Article first published online: 15 JUL 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 5 JUN 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 29 MAY 2013
- Manuscript Received: 11 APR 2013
- JSPS KAKENHI. Grant Number: 24655209
Poly-γ-glutamate (PGA), a novel polyamide material with industrial applications, possesses a nylon-like backbone, is structurally similar to polyacrylic acid, is biodegradable and is safe for human consumption. PGA is frequently found in the mucilage of natto, a Japanese traditional fermented food. To date, three different types of PGA, namely a homo polymer of d-glutamate (D-PGA), a homo polymer of l-glutamate (L-PGA), and a random copolymer consisting of d- and l-glutamate (DL-PGA), are known. This review will detail the occurrence and physiology of PGA. The proposed reaction mechanism of PGA synthesis including its localization and the structure of the involved enzyme, PGA synthetase, are described. The occurrence of multiple carboxyl residues in PGA likely plays a role in its relative unsuitability for the development of bio-nylon plastics and thus, establishment of an efficient PGA-reforming strategy is of great importance. Aside from the potential applications of PGA proposed to date, a new technique for chemical transformation of PGA is also discussed. Finally, some techniques for PGA and its derivatives in advanced material technology are presented.