Polyglutamic Acid: A Novel Peptide for Skin Care

Apr 1, 2007 | Contact Author | By: Natalie Ben-Zur, Natto Biosciences, Daniel M. Goldman, Supreme Business Services Inc.
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Title: Polyglutamic Acid: A Novel Peptide for Skin Care
polypeptidex exfoliantx humectantx cosmetic applicationx tensile strengthx
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Keywords: polypeptide | exfoliant | humectant | cosmetic application | tensile strength

Abstract: Personal care formulators continue to pursue skin care materials that are capable of both moisturization and exfoliation. γ-Polyglutamic acid (INCI: Natto Gum) meets these multifaceted demands. A review of the literature and research presented here examines the science of natto gum and explores its applications in personal care.

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γ-Poly glutamic acid (γ-PGA) is a novel molecule that is a component of the mucilage of the fermented soybean food product commonly found in Japan called natto. The International Nomenclature Cosmetic Ingredient (INCI) name of γ-PGA is natto gum and it is classified as a film-forming agent. The sodium salt of γ-PGA, which is more commonly used and thus served as the test sample in this paper, displays the visual appearance of a sticky paste.

The fermented soybean mucilage consists of a mixture of γ-PGA and fructan produced by Bacillus natto. Further research by Bovarnick revealed γ-PGA to be a fermentation byproduct freely secreted into growth medium outside of the cell walls of Bacillus subtilis. This discovery advanced collateral investigations to determine whether this bacteriological process could be reproduced in other species of Bacillus.

Characteristics of γ-PGA

Recent work by Lung and Da-Yeh further illustrates the applications and production of γ-PGA from microorganisms by gamma irradiating to promote chemical cross-linking between monomeric units to form a γ-PGA hydrogel. The finished gel was lyophilized to assure its physical chemical stability. 

The lyophilized product was characterized by Lung and Da-yeh by nuclear magnetic resonance (C13 and H1), Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy and thermal gravimetric analysis in its protonated form, as well as the salts of Na+, K+, NH4+, Ca2+ and Mg2+.

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Table 1.

 Table 1. 

Figure 1. The sodium salt

Figure 1. The sodium salt 

Figure 2. Repeating unit

Figure 2. Repeating unit 

Figure 3. The elucidated structure of the protonated

Figure 3. The elucidated structure of the protonated

Figure 4. The elucidated structure of the sodium salt

Figure 4. The elucidated structure of the sodium salt 

Figure 5. Comparison

Figure 5. Comparison

Figure 6. Comparison of collagen

Figure 6. Comparison of collagen 

Figure 7. Microscopic examination

Figure 7. Microscopic examination 

Figure 8. The before-and-after effects

Figure 8. The before-and-after effects 

Figure 9. The effects of γ-PGA on TEWL

Figure 9. The effects of γ-PGA on TEWL 

Figure 10. Lower concentrations

Figure 10. Lower concentrations  

Figure 11. The effects

Figure 11. The effects  

Figure 12. Electron microscopy images

Figure 12. Electron microscopy images 

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