The cad locus of Enterobacteriaceae: More than just lysine decarboxylation

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The cadBA genes are transcribed as a transcriptional operon and activated by CadC in a low pH- and lysine-dependent manner. In general, their expression is associated with decarboxylation of lysine and production of the polyamine cadaverine and CO2. However, the absence of these genes in some of the pathogenic members of the Enterobacteriaceae family results in a benefit for their virulence phenotype. Furthermore, Cad proteins had been found regulating the expression of genes associated with colonization, and production of polyamines has been also associated with protection of some pathogenic Escherichia coli against stress conditions. Therefore, in this review, we discuss recent evidence indicating that the cad locus encodes more than a mechanism to degrade lysine in Enterobacteriaceae and instead, in some pathogenic strains, and throughout evolution; the cad locus has become part of a "pathoadaptive" mutation which confers an advantage for survival and pathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Feb 2009


  • CadC regulator
  • Escherichia coli
  • Lysine decarboxylation
  • Salmonella enterica
  • Shigella flexneri
  • Vibrio vulnificus
  • cad locus
  • cadAB operon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'The cad locus of Enterobacteriaceae: More than just lysine decarboxylation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this