Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs) are beneficial to human health. However, the n-3 PUFAs contents of the livestock meat that we consume daily are relatively low. Utilization of transgenic technology to increase n-3 PUFAs contents in livestock may solve this problem.
The omega-3 fatty acid desaturase (FAD3), encoded by fat1 gene derived from Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), converts omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-6 PUFAs) to n-3 PUFAs. In the study, a plasmid containing the codon-optimized C. elegans fat1 gene (mfat1) was constructed and used to produce transgenic beef cattle by somatic cell nuclear transfer. Fourteen transgenic calves were obtained, and the ratio of n-6 to n-3 PUFAs in the transgenic calves decreased from 5.33: 1 to 0.95: 1 compared with negative controls.
Our results demonstrated that the codon-optimized C. elegans mfat1 gene can be functionally expressed in the beef cattle and converts n-6 PUFAs to n-3 PUFAs.
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This work was supported by the GMO New Varieties Major Project (2013ZX08007-002, 2014ZX08007-002), the National Natural Science Foundation (31301937) and the Chinese National High-Tech Research and Development Program (2013AA102505).
Supplementary Table 1—Codon optimization of fat1 gene.
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Cheng, G., Fu, C., Wang, H. et al. Production of transgenic beef cattle rich in n-3 PUFAs by somatic cell nuclear transfer. Biotechnol Lett 37, 1565–1571 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10529-015-1827-z