Amino acids

Lactic acid bacterial cell factories for gamma-aminobutyric acid.

PMID 20364279


Gamma-aminobutyric acid is a non-protein amino acid that is widely present in organisms. Several important physiological functions of gamma-aminobutyric acid have been characterized, such as neurotransmission, induction of hypotension, diuretic effects, and tranquilizer effects. Many microorganisms can produce gamma-aminobutyric acid including bacteria, fungi and yeasts. Among them, gamma-aminobutyric acid-producing lactic acid bacteria have been a focus of research in recent years, because lactic acid bacteria possess special physiological activities and are generally regarded as safe. They have been extensively used in food industry. The production of lactic acid bacterial gamma-aminobutyric acid is safe and eco-friendly, and this provides the possibility of production of new naturally fermented health-oriented products enriched in gamma-aminobutyric acid. The gamma-aminobutyric acid-producing species of lactic acid bacteria and their isolation sources, the methods for screening of the strains and increasing their production, the enzymatic properties of glutamate decarboxylases and the relative fundamental research are reviewed in this article. And the potential applications of gamma-aminobutyric acid-producing lactic acid bacteria were also referred to.