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Open AccessArticle

Characterisation of an Ovine Keratin Associated Protein (KAP) Gene, Which Would Produce a Protein Rich in Glycine and Tyrosine, but Lacking in Cysteine

1
International Wool Research Institute, Gansu Agricultural University, Lanzhou 730070, China
2
Gene Marker Laboratory, Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Lincoln University, Lincoln 7647, New Zealand
3
Gansu Key Laboratory of Herbivorous Animal Biotechnology, Faculty of Animal Science and Technology, Gansu Agricultural University, Lanzhou 730070, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Genes 2019, 10(11), 848; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes10110848
Received: 11 September 2019 / Revised: 18 October 2019 / Accepted: 23 October 2019 / Published: 26 October 2019
The keratin-associated proteins (KAPs) are structural components of hair/wool fibres. All of the KAPs identified to date contain cysteine, which is thought to form disulphide bonds cross-linking the keratin intermediate filaments. Here, we report the identification of a KAP gene in sheep that would produce a protein that contains a high proportion (63.2 mol%) of glycine and tyrosine, but would not contain any cysteine. This suggests that other forms of intra- and inter-strand interaction may occur with this KAP, such as interactions via ring-stacking and hydrogen-bonding. The gene was dissimilar to any previously reported KAP gene, and was therefore assigned to a new family, and named KRTAP36-1. The KRTAP36-1 genome sequence was almost identical to some EST sequences from sheep and goat skin follicles, suggesting that it is present and expressed in sheep and goats. A BLAST search of the human genome assembly sequence did not reveal any human homologue. Three variant sequences (named A to C) of ovine KRTAP36-1 were identified and four single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were detected. One SNP was located 32 bp upstream of the coding region, and all of the others were in the coding region and were nonsynonymous. After correcting for potential linkage to the proximal KRTAP20-1, variant B of KRTAP36-1 was found to be associated with increased prickle factor (PF) in wool, suggesting that variation in the gene may have the potential to be used as gene marker for breeding sheep with lower PF. View Full-Text
Keywords: Keratin-associated protein KAP36-1 gene (KRTAP36-1); variation; wool traits; prickle factor; sheep Keratin-associated protein KAP36-1 gene (KRTAP36-1); variation; wool traits; prickle factor; sheep
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Gong, H.; Zhou, H.; Wang, J.; Li, S.; Luo, Y.; Hickford, J.G.H. Characterisation of an Ovine Keratin Associated Protein (KAP) Gene, Which Would Produce a Protein Rich in Glycine and Tyrosine, but Lacking in Cysteine. Genes 2019, 10, 848.

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