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Open AccessArticle

Proteomics Recapitulates Ovarian Proteins Relevant to Puberty and Fertility in Brahman Heifers (Bos indicus L.)

1
School of Chemistry and Molecular Bioscience, University of Queensland, Brisbane 4072, Queensland, Australia
2
Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation, University of Queensland, Brisbane 4072, Queensland, Australia
3
School of Veterinary Sciences, University of Queensland, Brisbane 4343, Queensland, Australia
4
Department of Animal Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Genes 2019, 10(11), 923; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes10110923
Received: 22 October 2019 / Accepted: 6 November 2019 / Published: 12 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genomics of Sexual Development and Reproduction in Mammals)
High fertility and early puberty in Bos indicus heifers are desirable and genetically correlated traits in beef production. The hypothalamus–pituitary–ovarian (HPO) axis synthesizes steroid hormones, which contribute to the shift from the pre-pubertal state into the post-pubertal state and influence subsequent fertility. Understanding variations in abundance of proteins that govern steroid synthesis and ovarian signaling pathways remains crucial to understanding puberty and fertility. We used whole ovaries of six pre-pubertal and six post-pubertal Brahman heifers to conduct differential abundance analyses of protein profiles between the two physiological states. Extracted proteins were digested into peptides followed by identification and quantification with massspectrometry (MS) by sequential window acquisition of all instances of theoretical fragment ion mass spectrometry (SWATH-MS). MS and statistical analysis identified 566 significantly differentially abundant (DA) proteins (adjusted p < 0.05), which were then analyzed for gene ontology and pathway enrichment. Our data indicated an up-regulation of steroidogenic proteins contributing to progesterone synthesis at luteal phase post-puberty. Proteins related to progesterone signaling, TGF-β, retinoic acid, extracellular matrix, cytoskeleton, and pleiotrophin signaling were DA in this study. The DA proteins probably relate to the formation and function of the corpus luteum, which is only present after ovulation, post-puberty. Some DA proteins might also be related to granulosa cells signaling, which regulates oocyte maturation or arrest in ovaries prior to ovulation. Ten DA proteins were coded by genes previously associated with reproductive traits according to the animal quantitative trait loci (QTL) database. In conclusion, the DA proteins and their pathways were related to ovarian activity in Bos indicus cattle. The genes that code for these proteins may explain some known QTLs and could be targeted in future genetic studies. View Full-Text
Keywords: Bos indicus; ovary; puberty; steroidogenesis; progesterone signaling; oocyte maturation; corpus luteum; massspectrometry Bos indicus; ovary; puberty; steroidogenesis; progesterone signaling; oocyte maturation; corpus luteum; massspectrometry
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Tahir, M.S.; Nguyen, L.T.; Schulz, B.L.; Boe-Hansen, G.A.; Thomas, M.G.; Moore, S.S.; Lau, L.Y.; Fortes, M.R.S. Proteomics Recapitulates Ovarian Proteins Relevant to Puberty and Fertility in Brahman Heifers (Bos indicus L.). Genes 2019, 10, 923.

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