Molecule of the Week


May 19, 2008

Yes, it’s what you think it is: a foul-smelling compound found in putrefying animal tissue. Cadaverine, or 1,5-pentanediamine, is formed by the decarboxylation of the amino acid lysine. It and its companion decomposition product putrescine (1,4-butanediamine) also contribute to odors associated with bad breath, urine, semen, and bacterial vaginosis.