Structure, function, and evolution of the pseudomonas aeruginosa lysine decarboxylase LdcA

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Eaazhisai Kandiah
  • Diego Carriel
  • Pierre Simon Garcia
  • Jan Felix
  • George Kritikos
  • Maria Bacia-Verloop
  • Céline Brochier-Armanet
  • Sylvie Elsen
  • Irina Gutsche

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • University of Grenoble Alpes - France
  • Université Lyon
  • Institut de Biologie et de Chimie des Protéines
  • Institute of Microbiology and Infection, School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, U.K.


The only enzyme responsible for cadaverine production in the major multidrug-resistant human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa is the lysine decarboxylase LdcA. This enzyme modulates the general polyamine homeostasis, promotes growth, and reduces bacterial persistence during carbenicillin treatment. Here we present a 3.7-Å resolution cryoelectron microscopy structure of LdcA. We introduce an original approach correlating phylogenetic signal with structural information and reveal possible recombination among LdcA and arginine decarboxylase subfamilies within structural domain boundaries. We show that LdcA is involved in full virulence in an insect pathogenesis model. Furthermore, unlike its enterobacterial counterparts, LdcA is regulated neither by the stringent response alarmone ppGpp nor by the AAA+ ATPase RavA. Instead, the P. aeruginosa ravA gene seems to play a defensive role. Altogether, our study identifies LdcA as an important player in P. aeruginosa physiology and virulence and as a potential drug target.

Bibliographic note

Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1842-1854.e4
Issue number12
Early online date22 Oct 2019
Publication statusPublished - 3 Dec 2019


  • LdcA, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, amino acid decarboxylases, bacteria, cryo-EM structure, defense island, evolution, phylogenetic analysis, ppGpp, virulence

ASJC Scopus subject areas