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Open AccessArticle

Histological Analysis, Bioinformatics Profile, and Expression of Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase (MTHFR) in Bovine Testes

1
College of Veterinary Medicine, Gansu Agricultural University, Lanzhou 730070, China
2
Gansu Province Livestock Embryo Engineering Research Center, College of Veterinary Medicine, Gansu Agricultural University, Lanzhou 730070, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2020, 10(10), 1731; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10101731
Received: 24 July 2020 / Revised: 29 August 2020 / Accepted: 17 September 2020 / Published: 23 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Reproduction)
To date, several genes have been sequenced but their corresponding protein characteristics remain unknown. This study highlights the histological structure of bovine (yellow-cattle and yak) testes as a build-up to exploring the bioinformatics profile and expression characteristics of methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) in bovine testes. Our findings suggest that yellow-cattle testis have similar anatomical characteristics with that of yak, except for the weight or size, for which that of yellow-cattle is significantly higher or greater than yak. We also found that the secondary and 3D protein structures of MTHFR were similar to that of humans, with differences in the number of nucleotides, amino acids, and some physico-chemical characteristics. Moreover, MTHFR mRNA expression was higher in adult yellow-cattle and yak compared to their juvenile ones, however, its protein expression was higher but not statistically significant in adult yellow-cattle and yak compared to the juvenile ones. This provides a basis for further investigations into the regulatory function of MTHFR in bovine testes.
Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR), an enzyme expressed in mammalian testes, exerts a direct effect on spermatogenesis; however, its protein characteristics in bovine testes remain unknown. Here, we analysed bovine testicular structure, MTHFR bioinformatics profile, mRNA, and protein expression characteristics in yellow-cattle (y-c) and yak testis using histological procedures, bioinformatics analysis, qRT-PCR, and western blot. Testes from 13 bovines, ≤2 years juvenile (y-c, n = 3; yak, n = 3) and ≥3 years adult (y-c, n = 3; yak, n = 4) were collected and analysed. Anatomical characteristics of testis in y-c and yak were similar except the weight or size for which that of y-c was significantly higher or greater than yak. In y-c, an open reading frame (ORF) for 2600 nucleotides sequence, encoding 655 amino acids showed high homology with zebu cattle (99.51%) and wild yak (98.68%). Secondary and 3D protein structures were similar to that of humans with differences in the number of nucleotides, amino acids, and some physico-chemical characteristics. MTHFR mRNA expression in y-c and yak were significantly higher in adult testes compared with juvenile ones. However, its protein expression was higher, but not statistically significant, in adult y-c and yak compared to the juvenile ones. The highlights and inferences of these and other findings are discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: MTHFR; bovine; bioinformatics; gene expression; testes MTHFR; bovine; bioinformatics; gene expression; testes
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MDPI and ACS Style

Afedo, S.Y.; Cui, Y.; Yu, S.; Liao, B.; Zhao, Z.; Li, H.; Zhang, H.; Zou, S.; Li, D.H.; Zhang, P. Histological Analysis, Bioinformatics Profile, and Expression of Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase (MTHFR) in Bovine Testes. Animals 2020, 10, 1731.

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