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The adipocyte fatty acid-binding protein locus: characterization and association with intramuscular fat content in pigs

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The porcine A-FABP gene (FABP4) was isolated and sequenced to study the role of A-FABP in the differentiation of intramuscular fat (IMF) accretion in pigs. The coding sequence of the porcine A-FABP gene is highly conserved across human, mouse, and rat. Moreover, all the functionally important amino acids are conserved. This high similarity extends into the first 270 bp of the 5′ upstream region. Within this region, a 56-bp nucleotide sequence was completely identical with the corresponding sequence in the mouse A-FABP gene, which contains the transcription factor binding sites for C/EBP and AP-1, and is implicated in the differentiation-dependent regulation of A-FABP. The A-FABP gene was assigned to porcine Chromosome (Chr) 4 by a porcine sequence-specific PCR on a cell hybrid panel, fully consistent with comparative mapping data with human and mouse. In the first intron of the porcine A-FABP gene, a microsatellite sequence was detected that was polymorphic for all six pig breeds tested. This genetic variation within the A-FABP gene was associated with differences in IMF content and possibly growth in a Duroc population, whereas no effect on backfat thickness and drip loss of the meat were detected. A considerable and significant contrast of approximately 1% IMF was observed between certain genotype classes. We conclude that the A-FABP locus is involved in the regulation of intramuscular fat accretion in Duroc pigs.

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Received: 31 March 1998 / Accepted: 4 August 1998

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Gerbens, F., Jansen, A., van Erp, A. et al. The adipocyte fatty acid-binding protein locus: characterization and association with intramuscular fat content in pigs. 9, 1022–1026 (1998).

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