Journal of Applied Genetics

, Volume 54, Issue 1, pp 113–118 | Cite as

Candidate gene expression affects intramuscular fat content and fatty acid composition in pigs

  • Wei Wang
  • Wenda Xue
  • Bangquan Jin
  • Xixia Zhang
  • Fei Ma
  • Xiaofeng Xu
Animal Genetics • Original Paper


The objective of this study was to correlate the expression pattern of candidate genes with the intramuscular fat (IMF) content and fatty acid composition of the Longissimus dorsi muscle of Duroc × Shanzhu commercial crossbred pigs. Animals of both sexes were slaughtered at a body weight of about 90 kg. The IMF content and fatty acid composition of the Longissimus dorsi muscle were measured and correlated with candidate genes mRNA expression (AdPLA, ADRB3, LEPR, MC4R, PPARγ, PPARα, LPL, PEPCK, and SCD). Females presented higher IMF content (p < 0.05) than males. The total saturated fatty acid (SFA) in males was greater (p < 0.01), whereas the total monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) (p < 0.01) and polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) (p < 0.05) were lower than in females. The expressions of AdPLA, MC4R, PEPCK, and SCD correlated with the IMF content (p < 0.05). AdPLA showed a positive association with MUFA and a negative association with SFA (p < 0.05). LEPR and MC4R were both positively and significantly associated with C18:3 and C20:0 (p < 0.05). PPARα and PPARγ were negatively correlated with SFA, and PPARγ was positively associated with MUFA (p < 0.05). LPL was positively associated with MUFA and negatively associated with SFA (p < 0.05). PEPCK was negatively correlated with PUFA (p < 0.05). SCD was positively associated with MUFA (p < 0.05). The revealed correlations may confirm that these candidate genes are important for fat deposition and fatty acid composition in pigs, and the evaluation and use of these genes may be useful for improving porcine meat quality.


Fatty acid IMF Longissimus muscle Pig Real-time quantitative PCR 



This study was supported by the Jiangsu Province Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. BK2009402) and by the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions (Project No. 164320H106).


  1. Barb CR, Kraeling RR, Rampacek GB, Hausman GJ (2006) The role of neuropeptide Y and interaction with leptin in regulating feed intake and luteinizing hormone and growth hormone secretion in the pig. Reproduction 131(6):1127–1135PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bell CG, Walley AJ, Froguel P (2005) The genetics of human obesity. Nat Rev Genet 6(3):221–234PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Burgos C, Carrodeguas JA, Moreno C, Altarriba J, Tarrafeta L, Barcelona JA, López-Buesa P (2006) Allelic incidence in several pig breeds of a missense variant of pig melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R) gene associated with carcass and productive traits; its relation to IGF2 genotype. Meat Sci 73(1):144–150PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cieslak J, Nowacka-Woszuk J, Bartz M, Fijak-Nowak H, Grzes M, Szydlowski M, Switonski M (2009) Association studies on the porcine RETN, UCP1, UCP3 and ADRB3 genes polymorphism with fatness traits. Meat Sci 83(3):551–554PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Duncan RE, Sarkadi-Nagy E, Jaworski K, Ahmadian M, Sul HS (2008) Identification and functional characterization of adipose-specific phospholipase A2 (AdPLA). J Biol Chem 283(37):25428–25436PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Fortin A, Robertson WM, Tong AK (2005) The eating quality of Canadian pork and its relationship with intramuscular fat. Meat Sci 69(2):297–305PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Franckhauser S, Muñoz S, Pujol A, Casellas A, Riu E, Otaegui P, Su B, Bosch F (2002) Increased fatty acid re-esterification by PEPCK overexpression in adipose tissue leads to obesity without insulin resistance. Diabetes 51(3):624–630PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Grindflek E, Sundvold H, Lien S, Rothschild MF (2000) Rapid communication: physical and genetic mapping of the Peroxisome Proliferator Activated Receptor gamma (PPARγ) gene to porcine chromosome 13. J Anim Sci 78(5):1391–1392PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Jaworski K, Ahmadian M, Duncan RE, Sarkadi-Nagy E, Varady KA, Hellerstein MK, Lee HY, Samuel VT, Shulman GI, Kim KH, de Val S, Kang C, Sul HS (2009) AdPLA ablation increases lipolysis and prevents obesity induced by high-fat feeding or leptin deficiency. Nat Med 15(2):159–168PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Kim KS, Larsen N, Short T, Plastow G, Rothschild MF (2000) A missense variant of the porcine melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R) gene is associated with fatness, growth, and feed intake traits. Mamm Genome 11(2):131–135PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Livak KJ, Schmittgen TD (2001) Analysis of relative gene expression data using real-time quantitative PCR and the 2(−Delta Delta C(T)) method. Methods 25(4):402–408PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Luo HF, Wei HK, Huang FR, Zhou Z, Jiang SW, Peng J (2009) The effect of linseed on intramuscular fat content and adipogenesis related genes in skeletal muscle of pigs. Lipids 44(11):999–1010PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Mackowski M, Szymoniak K, Szydlowski M, Kamyczek M, Eckert R, Rozycki M, Switonski M (2005) Missense mutations in exon 4 of the porcine LEPR gene encoding extracellular domain and their association with fatness traits. Anim Genet 36(2):135–137PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Nowacka-Woszuk J, Szczerbal I, Fijak-Nowak H, Switonski M (2008) Chromosomal localization of 13 candidate genes for human obesity in the pig genome. J Appl Genet 49(4):373–377PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Reardon W, Mullen AM, Sweeney T, Hamill RM (2010) Association of polymorphisms in candidate genes with colour, water-holding capacity, and composition traits in bovine M. longissimus and M. semimembranosus. Meat Sci 86(2):270–275PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Schwab CR, Baas TJ, Stalder KJ, Mabry JW (2007) Deposition rates and accretion patterns of intramuscular fat, loin muscle area, and backfat of Duroc pigs sired by boars from two time periods. J Anim Sci 85(6):1540–1546PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Srivastava RA (2009) Fenofibrate ameliorates diabetic and dyslipidemic profiles in KKAy mice partly via down-regulation of 11beta-HSD1, PEPCK and DGAT2. Comparison of PPARalpha, PPARgamma, and liver × receptor agonists. Eur J Pharmacol 607(1–3):258–263PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Taniguchi M, Utsugi T, Oyama K, Mannen H, Kobayashi M, Tanabe Y, Ogino A, Tsuji S (2004) Genotype of stearoyl-coA desaturase is associated with fatty acid composition in Japanese Black cattle. Mamm Genome 15(2):142–148PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Warnants N, Van Oeckel MJ, Boucqué CV (1999) Incorporation of dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids into pork fatty tissues. J Anim Sci 77(9):2478–2490PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Wood JD, Enser M, Fisher AV, Nute GR, Sheard PR, Richardson RI, Hughes SI, Whittington FM (2008) Fat deposition, fatty acid composition and meat quality: a review. Meat Sci 78(4):343–358PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Wu GM, Xu XF, Zhang XX, Huo JL, Zhang XN, Miao YW, Huo HL (2008) Study on the genetic variation of Caplastatin gene in Shan pig population. Lett Biotechnol 19(2):244–246Google Scholar
  22. Yang A, Larsen TW, Smith SB, Tume RK (1999) Delta9 desaturase activity in bovine subcutaneous adipose tissue of different fatty acid composition. Lipids 34(9):971–978PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Yu S, Matsusue K, Kashireddy P, Cao WQ, Yeldandi V, Yeldandi AV, Rao MS, Gonzalez FJ, Reddy JK (2003) Adipocyte-specific gene expression and adipogenic steatosis in the mouse liver due to peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma1 (PPARgamma1) overexpression. J Biol Chem 278(1):498–505PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Zhang S, Knight TJ, Stalder KJ, Goodwin RN, Lonergan SM, Beitz DC (2009) Effects of breed, sex and halothane genotype on fatty acid composition of triacylglycerols and phospholipids in pork longissimus muscle. J Anim Breed Genet 126(4):259–268PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Institute of Plant Genetics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poznan 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wei Wang
    • 1
  • Wenda Xue
    • 1
  • Bangquan Jin
    • 2
  • Xixia Zhang
    • 3
  • Fei Ma
    • 1
  • Xiaofeng Xu
    • 1
  1. 1.State Key Discipline of Zoology, Jiangsu Key Laboratory for Biodiversity and Biotechnology, College of Life SciencesNanjing Normal UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.Department of Food Science and NutritionNanjing Normal UniversityNanjingChina
  3. 3.Institute of Husbandry and Poultry ResearchNanjingChina

Personalised recommendations