Polyglutamic acid

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Polyglutamic acid
Gamma PGA
Systematic IUPAC name
  • none
Molar mass variable
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
Infobox references

Polyglutamic acid (PGA) is a polymer of the amino acid glutamic acid (GA). Gamma PGA (Poly-γ-glutamic acid, γ-PGA) - the form where the peptide bonds are between the amino group of GA and the carboxyl group at the end of the GA side chain - is a major constituent of the Japanese food natto. Gamma PGA is formed by bacterial fermentation.

Gamma PGA has a wide number of potential uses ranging from food and medicine to water treatment.[citation needed]

The other isomer, poly-α-glutamic acid is being used as a drug delivery system in cancer treatment[1] and research is underway for its application in a treatment of type I diabetes and its potential use in the production of an AIDS vaccine.[citation needed]

Heavy metal removal[edit]

G-PGA covalently incorporated into microfiltration membranes via attachment to their membrane pore surfaces exhibited super-high heavy metal sorption ability.Ref:Bhattacharyya et al. (1998) G-PGA was found to bind and efficiently remove .99.8% of lead ions from water via a suitable low-pressure ultrafiltration technique.Ref:Inbaraj et al. (2006)


  1. ^ C. Li; D.F. Yu; A. Newman; F. Cabral; C. Stephens; N.R. Hunter; L. Milas; S. Wallace (1998). "Complete regression of well-established tumors using a novel water-soluble poly(L-glutamic acid)-paclitaxel conjugate". Cancer Res. 58 (11): 2404–2409. PMID 9622081.