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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(7), 1405; doi:10.3390/ijms18071405

Estrogen Promotes Hepatic Synthesis of Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids by Regulating ELOVL5 at Post-Transcriptional Level in Laying Hens

College of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, Henan Agricultural University, Zhengzhou 450002, China
Henan Innovative Engineering Research Center of Poultry Germplasm Resource, Zhengzhou 450002, China
Department of Animal Sciences and Division of Nutritional Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 June 2017 / Revised: 21 June 2017 / Accepted: 26 June 2017 / Published: 30 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue microRNA Regulation 2017)
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The very long chain fatty acid elongase (ELOVL) plays an important role in the synthesis of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA). Previous studies suggest that chicken could be an alternate source of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). In this study, we detected that ELOVL5, which plays a key role in the biosynthesis of omega-3 (n-3) and omega-6 (n-6) polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), was highly expressed in the liver of laying hens and increased rapidly after sexual maturity. Bioinformatic analysis revealed ELOVL fatty acid elongase 5 (ELOVL5) gene as a putative target of miR-218-5p, miR-19a-3p, miR-19b-3p, miR-30a-5p, miR-30b-5p, and miR-30e-5p. We demonstrated estrogen downregulated microRNA (miRNA), and that ELOVL5 is a direct target of miR-218-5p, which was located in intron 14 of the Slit guidance ligand 2 (SLIT2) gene and co-expressed with the host gene. Overall, estrogen enhanced hepatic synthesis of LCPUFA by functioning as a negative regulator of miRNA thereby augmenting the expression of these miRNA target genes, especially ELOVL5, which plays a key role in the biosynthesis of n-3 and n-6 LCPUFA. This study provides a novel model for the use of estrogen in the poultry industry as an inducer of ELOVL5 expression to enhance hepatic n-3 and n-6 LCPUFA synthesis at the post-transcriptional level. View Full-Text
Keywords: chicken; ELOVL5; liver; estrogen; miRNA; LCPUFA chicken; ELOVL5; liver; estrogen; miRNA; LCPUFA

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Zhang, M.; Li, C.-C.; Li, F.; Li, H.; Liu, X.-J.; Loor, J.J.; Kang, X.-T.; Sun, G.-R. Estrogen Promotes Hepatic Synthesis of Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids by Regulating ELOVL5 at Post-Transcriptional Level in Laying Hens. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 1405.

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