Skip to main content
Log in

Characterization of the porcine differentially expressed PDK4 gene and association with meat quality

  • Published:
Molecular Biology Reports Aims and scope Submit manuscript


To investigate the differential expression of genes in the skeletal muscle between Yorkshire and Chinese indigenous breed Meishan pigs, suppression subtractive hybridization was carried out and many genes were proved to be expressed significantly different in the two breeds. One gene highly expressed in Meishan but lowly expressed in Yorkshire specific library, shared strong homology with human pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 4 (PDK4). Using semi-quantity and quantity PCR, We confirmed its differential expression between the two breeds. Temporal and spatial expression analysis indicated that porcine PDK4 gene is highly expressed in skeletal muscle and the highest in neonatal pigs. Complete cDNA cloning and sequence analysis revealed that porcine PDK4 gene contains an open reading frame of 1,221 bp. The deduced amino acid sequence showed conservation in evolution. A G/A mutation in intron 9 was identified and association analysis showed that it was significantly associated with intramuscular fat, muscle water content.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7

Similar content being viewed by others


  1. Diatchenko L, Lau YF, Campbell AP et al (1996) Suppression subtractive hybridization: a method for generating differentially regulated or tissue-specific cDNA probes and libraries. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 93:6025–6030. doi:10.1073/pnas.93.12.6025

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Ji W, Wright MB, Cai L et al (2002) Efficacy of SSH PCR in isolating differentially expressed genes. BMC Genomics 3:12. doi:10.1186/1471-2164-3-12

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  3. Behal RH, Buxton DB, Robertson JG et al (1993) Regulation of the pyruvate dehydrogenase multienzyme complex. Annu Rev Nutr 13:497–520. doi:10.1146/

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Sugden MC (2003) PDK4: a factor in fatness? Obes Res 11:167–169. doi:10.1038/oby.2003.26

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  5. Gudi R, Bowker-Kinley MM, Kedishvili NY et al (1995) Diversity of the pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase gene family in humans. J Biol Chem 270:28989–28994. doi:10.1074/jbc.270.48.28989

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Rowles J, Scherer SW, Xi T et al (1996) Cloning and characterization of PDK4 on 7q21.3 encoding a fourth pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase isoenzyme in human. J Biol Chem 271:22376–22382. doi:10.1074/jbc.271.37.22376

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Popov KM, Hawes JW, Harris RA (1997) Mitochondrial alpha-ketoacid dehydrogenase kinases: a new family of protein kinases. Adv Second Messenger Phosphoprotein Res 31:105–111

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Kwon HS, Harris RA (2004) Mechanisms responsible for regulation of pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 4 gene expression. Adv Enzyme Regul 44:109–121

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Sugden MC, Holness MJ (2003) Recent advances in mechanisms regulating glucose oxidation at the level of the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex by PDKs. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 284:E855–E862

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Kwon HS, Huang B, Ho Jeoung N et al (2006) Retinoic acids and trichostatin A (TSA), a histone deacetylase inhibitor, induce human pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 4 (PDK4) gene expression. Biochim Biophys Acta 1759:141–151

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. Xie HT, Lei MG, Xiong YZ et al (2006) Molecular cloning and functional analysis of MRLC2 differential expressed in Meishan × Yorkshire F1 crossbreeds and their parents, Meishan pigs. Acta Biochim Biophys Sin (Shanghai) 38:788–794. doi:10.1111/j.1745-7270.2006.00224.x

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  12. Xu DQ, Xiong YZ, Ling XF et al (2005) Identification of a differential gene HUMMLC2B between F1 hybrids Landrace × Yorkshire and their female parents Yorkshire. Gene 352:118–126. doi:10.1016/j.gene.2005.04.010

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. Livak KJ, Schmittgen TD (2001) Analysis of relative gene expression data using real-time quantitative PCR and the 2(T)(-Delta Delta C) method. Methods 25:402–408. doi:10.1006/meth.2001.1262

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  14. Xiong YZ, Deng CY (1999) Principle and method of swine testing. Chinese Agriculture Press, Beijing

    Google Scholar 

  15. Saitou N, Nei M (1987) The neighbor-joining method: a new method for reconstructing phylogenetic trees. Mol Biol Evol 4:406–425

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  16. Berchtold MW, Brinkmeier H, Muntener M (2000) Calcium ion in skeletal muscle: its crucial role for muscle function, plasticity, and disease. Physiol Rev 80:1215–1265

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  17. Araki M, Motojima K (2006) Identification of ERRalpha as a specific partner of PGC-1alpha for the activation of PDK4 gene expression in muscle. FEBS J 273:1669–1680. doi:10.1111/j.1742-4658.2006.05183.x

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  18. Wende AR, Huss JM, Schaeffer PJ et al (2005) PGC-1alpha coactivates PDK4 gene expression via the orphan nuclear receptor ERRalpha: a mechanism for transcriptional control of muscle glucose metabolism. Mol Cell Biol 25:10684–10694. doi:10.1128/MCB.25.24.10684-10694.2005

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  19. Lin J, Wu H, Tarr PT et al (2002) Transcriptional co-activator PGC-1 alpha drives the formation of slow-twitch muscle fibres. Nature 418:797–801. doi:10.1038/nature00904

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  20. Lefaucheur L, Ecolan P, Plantard L et al (2002) New insights into muscle fiber types in the pig. J Histochem Cytochem 50:719–730

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  21. Davoli R, Bigi D, Fontanesi L et al (2000) Mapping of 14 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) from porcine skeletal muscle by somatic cell hybrid analysis. Anim Genet 31:400–403. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2052.2000.00687.x

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  22. Maak S, Jaesert S, Neumann K et al (2001) Isolation of expressed sequence tags of skeletal muscle of neonatal healthy and splay leg piglets and mapping by somatic cell hybrid analysis. Anim Genet 32:303–307. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2052.2001.00778.x

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  23. Meyers SN, Rogatcheva MB, Larkin DM et al (2005) Piggy-BACing the human genome II. A high-resolution, physically anchored, comparative map of the porcine autosomes. Genomics 86:739–752. doi:10.1016/j.ygeno.2005.04.010

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  24. Quintanilla R, Milan D, Bidanel JP (2002) A further look at quantitative trait loci affecting growth and fatness in a cross between Meishan and Large White pig populations. Genet Sel Evol 34:193–210. doi:10.1051/gse:2002003

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  25. Kim JJ, Zhao H, Thomsen H et al (2005) Combined line-cross and half-sib QTL analysis of crosses between outbred lines. Genet Res 85:235–248. doi:10.1017/S0016672305007597

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  26. Nii M, Hayashi T, Tani F et al (2006) Quantitative trait loci mapping for fatty acid composition traits in perirenal and back fat using a Japanese wild boar × Large White intercross. Anim Genet 37:342–347. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2052.2006.01485.x

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  27. Edwards DB, Ernst CW, Tempelman RJ et al (2008) Quantitative trait loci mapping in an F-2 Duroc × Pietrain resource population: I. Growth traits. J Anim Sci 86:241–253. doi:10.2527/jas.2006-625

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references


This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (30400313), the National Key Foundation Research and Development Program of China (2006CB102102) and the National High Technology Research and Development Program of China (2006AA10Z1D6).

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Ming-Gang Lei or Yuan-Zhu Xiong.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Lan, J., Lei, MG., Zhang, YB. et al. Characterization of the porcine differentially expressed PDK4 gene and association with meat quality. Mol Biol Rep 36, 2003–2010 (2009).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: