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Animals 2018, 8(11), 188;

RNA Sequencing-Based Whole-Transcriptome Analysis of Friesian Cattle Fed with Grape Pomace-Supplemented Diet

Faculty of Bioscience and Technology for Food, Agriculture, and Environment, University of Teramo, Via R. Balzarini 1, 64100 Teramo, Italy
Department of Comparative Biomedicine and Food Science, University of Padua, viale dell’Università 16, 35020 Legnaro (Padua), Italy
Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology, Uppsala University, 75185 Uppsala, Sweden
Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Perugia, Via S. Costanzo 4, 06126 Perugia, Italy
Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dell’Abruzzo e del Molise “G. Caporale”, Campo Boario, 64100 Teramo, Italia
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 June 2018 / Revised: 16 October 2018 / Accepted: 20 October 2018 / Published: 23 October 2018
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Simple Summary

Grape pomace (GPO) is an important source of polyphenols which are known to have antioxidant properties. In the past decade, GPO has received some attention as a bioactive dietary component in farm animals’ diet. In this study, we have analyzed the whole-transcriptome of Friesian calves fed with a GPO-supplemented diet using RNA-sequencing. We noted that the most affected pathway was the cholesterol lipid biosynthesis and this effect was consistent with a reduction in both serum cholesterol and lipid oxidation in the carcasses. This study provides evidence on the antioxidant property of GPO-supplemented diet, from a molecular biology standpoint.


Grape pomace (GPO), the main by-product of the wine making process, is a rich source of polyphenols with potent antioxidant properties. Recently, GPO has emerged as a potential feed additive in livestock nutrition, with several reports describing its beneficial effects on animals’ overall health status or production traits. However, little is known about it from a molecular biology standpoint. In the present study, we report the first RNA sequencing-based whole-transcriptome profiling of Friesian calves fed with a GPO-supplemented diet. We identified 367 differentially expressed genes (p < 0.05) in the GPO-supplemented calves (n = 5), when compared with unsupplemented control group (n = 5). The pathway analysis showed that ‘cholesterol lipid biosynthesis’ was the most negatively-enriched (p < 0.001) pathway in the GPO-supplemented animals. In specific terms, five important genes coding for cholesterol biosynthesis enzymes, namely the Farnesyl-diphosphate Farnesyltransferase 1 (FDFT-1), Squalene Epoxidase (SQLE), NAD(P)-dependent Steroid Dehydrogenase-like (NSDHL), Methylsterol Monooxygenase (MSMO)-1, and Sterol-C5-desaturase (SC5D), two major transcription factors (the Sterol Regulatory Element-binding Transcription Factor 1 and 2), as well as the Low-Density Lipoprotein Receptor (LDLR), were all downregulated following GPO supplementation. Such an effect was mirrored by a reduction of blood cholesterol levels (p = 0.07) and a lowered (p < 0.001) Malondialdehyde (lipid oxidation marker) level in carcasses. We provide evidence on the effects of GPO-supplemented diets on the whole-transcriptome signature in veal calves, which mainly reflects an antioxidant activity. View Full-Text
Keywords: grape pomace; transcriptomics; RNA-seq; cholesterol biosynthesis; blood; cattle grape pomace; transcriptomics; RNA-seq; cholesterol biosynthesis; blood; cattle

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Iannaccone, M.; Elgendy, R.; Giantin, M.; Martino, C.; Giansante, D.; Ianni, A.; Dacasto, M.; Martino, G. RNA Sequencing-Based Whole-Transcriptome Analysis of Friesian Cattle Fed with Grape Pomace-Supplemented Diet. Animals 2018, 8, 188.

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