Poly(L-Glutamic Acid)

Published on 14.09.2017

Poly-(α-L-glutamic acid) is a synthetic polypeptide of L-Glu linked by the alpha-amino groups (α-PGA). These polyanionic and biodegradable polymers can be used for a variety of purposes.

Their highly charged nature makes PGAs an ideal component for the coating/formation of nanoparticles. Furthermore, the multitude of gamma-carboxyl groups can serve as attachment points for different kinds of molecules. One well-known application is the formation of PGA-API conjugates, such as PGA-Paclitaxel. In addition to APIs, the PGA polymer can also be functionalized with targeting moieties, imaging agents or solubilizing moieties.

Ringsdorf's model for a targetable polymer-drug conjugate (Ringsdorf, J. Polym. Sci. Polym. Symp. 1975).

Our PGAs are available with lengths from 20 to 800 glutamic acid units, as well as with a multitude of different functional groups and other modifications:

Modifications on the termini (R¹ and R²) include alkyl residues, alkyne groups and protected aldehydes. Among the available side-chain modifications (R³) are alkynes, azides, protected hydrazides and PEG-chains.

→ Find all of our PGA derivatives (more than 80 different compounds) in the Poly-Glutamic Acids section of our webshop.

→ Be sure to also have a look at our large and diverse selection of Polymeric Carriers, including mono- and polydisperse PEGs, various polyamino acids, as well as polyoxazolines.


  • Templated fabrication of pH-responsive poly(l-glutamic acid) based nanogels via surface-grafting and macromolecular crosslinking; S. Yan, Y. Sun, A. Chen, L. Liu, K. Zhang, G. Li, Y. Duan and J. Yin; RSC Advances 2017; 7: 14888-14901. doi:10.1039/c7ra00631d
  • Combining disulfiram and poly(l-glutamic acid)-cisplatin conjugates for combating cisplatin resistance; W. Song, Z. Tang, N. Shen, H. Yu, Y. Jia, D. Zhang, J. Jiang, C. He, H. Tian and X. Chen; Journal of Controlled Release 2016; 231: 94-102. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jconrel.2016.02.039
  • Multifunctional synthetic poly(L-glutamic acid)-based cancer therapeutic and imaging agents; M. P. Melancon and C. Li; Molecular imaging 2011; 10: 28-42.
  • Polymer Therapeutics: Concepts and Applications; R. Haag and F. Kratz; Angewandte Chemie International Edition 2006; 45: 1198-1215. doi:10.1002/anie.200502113
  • Nanotechnology in cancer therapeutics: bioconjugated nanoparticles for drug delivery; R. Sinha, G. J. Kim, S. Nie and D. M. Shin; Molecular Cancer Therapeutics 2006; 5: 1909-1917. doi:10.1158/1535-7163.mct-06-0141
  • The dawning era of polymer therapeutics; R. Duncan; Nat Rev Drug Discov 2003; 2: 347-360.
  • Superior Therapeutic Profile of Poly-L-Glutamic Acid-Paclitaxel Copolymer Compared with Taxol in Xenogeneic Compartmental Models of Human Ovarian Carcinoma; E. Auzenne, N. J. Donato, C. Li, E. Leroux, R. E. Price, D. Farquhar and J. Klostergaard; Clinical Cancer Research 2002; 8: 573-581.
  • Poly(glutamic Acid) for Biomedical Applications; A. Richard and A. Margaritis; Critical Reviews in Biotechnology 2001; 21: 219-232. doi:10.1080/07388550108984171
  • Structure and properties of pharmacologically active polymers; H. Ringsdorf; Journal of Polymer Science: Polymer Symposia 1975; 51: 135-153. doi:10.1002/polc.5070510111
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