An increasing number of hyperthermophilic and mesophilic bacteria have been isolated from deep-sea hydrothermal vents throughout the past 20 years and found to be an extraordinary source of innovative molecules with unusual biological properties. These properties have developed as defense mechanisms enabling the marine organisms to adapt themselves to extreme conditions of temperature, pressure and darkness that prevail in the world’s seas.
Among these, bacteria belonging to the genus Alteromonas, and precisely to the species A. macleodii, were identified as being able to produce large amounts of biologically active exopolysaccharides (EPS). A close investigation of some of these biopolymers revealed that they could be of powerful value in the cosmetic industry by providing a new way to protect the skin from environmental injuries.
The best example is a polysaccharide produced by A. macleodii, strain HYD657 (EPS657) that is the sole bioactive polymer in a described Alteromonas ferment extract formulation (SEPS657). The present review will focus on this ferment extract with particular emphasis on its properties as exemplified by a number of laboratory and clinical studies.