, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 83-92
Date: 13 Jan 2006

Characterization of the bovine PRKAG3 gene: structure, polymorphism, and alternative transcripts

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The bovine PRKAG3 gene encodes the AMPK γ3 subunit, one isoform of the regulatory γ subunit of the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). The AMPK plays a major role in the regulation of energy metabolism and mutations affecting the genes encoding the γ subunits have been shown to influence AMPK activity. The γ3 subunit is involved in the regulation of AMPK activity in skeletal muscle and strongly inflences glycogen metabolism. Glycogen content in muscle is correlated to meat quality in livestock because it influences postmortem maturation process and ultimate pH. Naturally occurring mutations in the porcine PRKAG3 gene highly affect meat quality by influencing glycogen content before slaughter. We present the characterization of the bovine PRKAG3 gene and a polymorphism analysis in three cattle breeds. Thirty-two SNPs were identified among which 13 are in the coding region, one is in the 3′ UTR, and 18 are in the introns. Five of them change an amino acid in the PRKAG3 protein sequence. Allelic frequencies were determined in the three breeds considered, and mutant alleles affecting the coding sequence are found at a very low frequency. Alternative splicing sites were identified at two positions of the gene, introducing heterogeneity in the population of proteins translated from the gene.