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Evidence for a new allele at the SERCA1 locus affecting pork meat quality in part through the imbalance of Ca2+ homeostasis

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Sarcoendoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase 1 (SERCA1) as a Ca2+ release channel plays a key role in the relaxation of skeletal muscle through pumping cytosolic Ca2+ into the SR (sarcoplasmic reticulum). In this study, a novel single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in exon 8 (C > T) was detected by tetra-primer ARMS-PCR and the tissue expression pattern of SERCA1 was analyzed in eleven tissues. A model of primary skeletal muscle cells in vitro exposed to dexamethasone (DEX, a synthetic corticosteroid) was also employed to determine whether stress hormones cause an increase in intracellular Ca2+ concentration that is associated with alteration in SERCA1 and in turn subsequently affect meat quality. The results showed that the CC genotype has lower content intramuscular fat and higher water than pig carrying the genotype CT and CC. In addition, the additive effects were both significantly (P < 0.05) and allele T seemed to be associate with increase in intramuscular fat, while decrease in water content. Accompanied with previous studies, the high abundance of porcine SERCA1 was found in skeletal muscle tissue. DEX markedly down-regulated the expression of SERCA1, leading to Ca2+ overload. Furthermore, the imbalance of Ca2+ homeostasis up-regulated the transcription level of Calpain1. Taken together, we demonstrated a novel mechanism that the changes in expression of SERCA1 potential disturb the normal Ca2+ channel as well as the balance of Ca2+ homeostasis and which in turn finally activated Ca2+-dependent proteases such as Calpain1 which could affect meat quality.

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This study was supported financially by the project “Research and Development on Technology and Key Equipment for New Type of Industrialized and Healthy Animal Husbandry” funded by the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology (2006BAD14B02-6), 11th Five Years Key Programs for Science and Technology Development of China (2006BAD01A08-07), Hubei Province Key Project of Science and Technology (2006AA201B24) and Wuhan City Key Project of Industrialization (200720112026).

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Correspondence to J. Peng or S. W. Jiang.

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J. Chai and Q. Xiong have contributed equally to this work.

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Chai, J., Xiong, Q., Zhang, P.P. et al. Evidence for a new allele at the SERCA1 locus affecting pork meat quality in part through the imbalance of Ca2+ homeostasis. Mol Biol Rep 37, 613–619 (2010).

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