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J Bacteriol. May 1994; 176(10): 3040–3048.
PMCID: PMC205462

Plasmid-borne cadmium resistance genes in Listeria monocytogenes are similar to cadA and cadC of Staphylococcus aureus and are induced by cadmium.


pLm74 is the smallest known plasmid in Listeria monocytogenes. It confers resistance to the toxic divalent cation cadmium. It contains a 3.1-kb EcoRI fragment which hybridizes with the cadAC genes of plasmid pI258 of Staphylococcus aureus. When introduced into cadmium-sensitive L. monocytogenes or Bacillus subtilis strains, this fragment conferred cadmium resistance. The DNA sequence of the 3.1-kb EcoRI fragment contains two open reading frames, cadA and cadC. The deduced amino acid sequences are similar to those of the cad operon of plasmid pI258 of S. aureus, known to prevent accumulation of Cd2+ in the bacteria by an ATPase efflux mechanism. The cadmium resistance determinant of L. monocytogenes does not confer zinc resistance, in contrast to the cadAC determinant of S. aureus, suggesting that the two resistance mechanisms are slightly different. Slot blot DNA-RNA hybridization analysis showed cadmium-inducible synthesis of L. monocytogenes cadAC RNA.

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