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Detection of four polymorphisms in 5′ upstream region of PNPLA2 gene and their associations with economic traits in pigs

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Abstract

As an important triglyceride hydrolase in mammalian cells, patatin-like phospholipase domain-containing 2 (PNPLA2) predominantly performs the first step in triglyceride hydrolysis. The objective of this study was to detect and evaluate the effects of mutations in the 5′ upstream region of porcine PNPLA2 gene with fat deposition and carcass traits. Four single nuclear polymorphisms were identified, including g.161969 T>C, g.161962 A>G, g.161953 C>G and g.161904 G>T, and subsequently genotyped in five pure breeds. Three haplotypes were constructed, including H1(CGGT), H2(TACG) and H3(CACT), which were the most abundant haplotypes in Duroc (0.75), Landrace (0.78) and Chinese indigenous breeds (>0.73), respectively. Duroc individuals with the H1H1 diplotype always exhibited the lowest feed conversion ratio (FCR) (P < 0.05), while H2H2 had the thickest backfat thickness (P < 0.05). Landrace individuals with H2H3 had lower backfat thickness (P < 0.05), higher muscle thickness (P < 0.05) and estimated lean meat percentage (P < 0.05) than those with diplotype H2H2 and H3H3. Luciferase assay indicated pGL3-basic-H2 had the highest activity and pGL3-basic-H1 had the lowest activity in driving reporter gene transcription in HEK293 cells in vitro. In H1 haplotype, two GR binding sites and an ERα binding site were predicted to be introduced. While in H2 and H3, there were other transcriptional factor binding sites predicted in H2 and H3, such as Sp1, AP-2 and CAC-binding proteins, which were broadly expressed transcription factors and capable of contributing to basal promoter activity. The reduced basal promoter activity of H1 may be due to the lack of inducement for GR and ERα binding sites in HEK293 cells. The identified functional polymorphisms provide new evidence of PNPLA2 as an important candidate gene for fat deposition and carcass traits in pigs.

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Acknowledgments

The work was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (31201783), National Major Project for Production of Transgenic Breeding Grant (2014ZX0800945B), and National Natural Science Foundation of Zhejiang Province (LY15C170003, Y13C170012).

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Correspondence to Ruhai Xu.

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Dai, L., Chu, X., Lu, F. et al. Detection of four polymorphisms in 5′ upstream region of PNPLA2 gene and their associations with economic traits in pigs. Mol Biol Rep 43, 1305–1313 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11033-016-4068-x

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11033-016-4068-x

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