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J Bacteriol. 1990 Aug; 172(8): 4631–4640.
PMCID: PMC213298

Nucleotide sequence and analysis of the speA gene encoding biosynthetic arginine decarboxylase in Escherichia coli.


The DNA sequence of a 3.23-kilobase fragment of the Escherichia coli chromosome encoding biosynthetic arginine decarboxylase (ADC) was determined. This sequence contained the speA open reading frame (ORF) as well as partial speB and metK ORFs. The ADC ORF is 1,974 nucleotides long; the deduced polypeptide contains 658 amino acids with a molecular size of 73,980 daltons. The molecular weight and predicted ADC amino acid composition are nearly identical to the amino acid analysis of purified ADC performed by Wu and Morris (J. Biol. Chem. 248:1687-1695, 1973). A translational speA-lacZ fusion, pRM65, including 1,389 base pairs (463 amino acids) of the 5' end of speA was constructed. Western blots (immunoblots) with beta-galactosidase antisera revealed two ADC::beta-galactosidase fusion proteins in E. coli bearing pRM65: 160,000 and 156,000 daltons representing precursor and mature hybrid proteins, respectively. The predicted amino acid sequence of ADC contains a region of six amino acid residues found in two bacterial diaminopimelic acid decarboxylases and three eucaryotic ornithine decarboxylases. This conserved sequence is located approximately eight amino acids from the putative pyridoxal phosphate-binding site of ADC and is predicted to be involved in substrate binding.

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Selected References

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