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Molecular Genetics and Breeding Mechanisms in Domestics Animals

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Genetics and Genomics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2023) | Viewed by 26866

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Guest Editor
Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing, China
Interests: animal genetics and breeding; immunogenetics; breeding for disease resistance; interactions between microbe and host
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Alongside the continuous progress of biotechnology, molecular genetics, breeding theory and methods, scientists in the field have rapidly developed high-quality germplasms. The current Special Issue on “Molecular Genetics and Breeding Mechanisms in Domestics Animals” explores and disseminates the latest research trends and achievements in the scientific field of animal molecular genetics and breeding. The Special Issue also aims to explore the achievements in the research concerning disease-resistance breeding, which is of great significance to the development of animal husbandry and human health.

We invite submissions that discuss the molecular biology, genetics and immunity of domestic animals, placing particular emphasis on the following topics:

  • Analysis of molecular mechanisms of character formation based on multiomics;
  • Genetic mechanism research about important functional genes in animals;
  • New breeding theory based on bio-informatics;
  • Effects of microbiota on immune development;
  • Molecular interactions between microbial products and host sensors.

Dr. Guiping Zhao
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • animal genetics
  • animal breeding
  • functional genomics
  • multiomics analysis
  • molecular immunity
  • interactions between microbe and host

Published Papers (16 papers)

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15 pages, 3417 KiB  
Article
Photoperiod Induces the Epigenetic Change of the GNAQ Gene in OVX+E2 Ewes
by Wei Wang, Xiaolong Du, Mingxing Chu and Xiaoyun He
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(22), 16442; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms242216442 - 17 Nov 2023
Viewed by 737
Abstract
GNAQ, a member of the alpha subunit encoding the q-like G protein, is a critical gene in cell signaling, and multiple studies have shown that upregulation of GNAQ gene expression ultimately inhibits the proliferation of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons and GnRH secretion, and [...] Read more.
GNAQ, a member of the alpha subunit encoding the q-like G protein, is a critical gene in cell signaling, and multiple studies have shown that upregulation of GNAQ gene expression ultimately inhibits the proliferation of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons and GnRH secretion, and ultimately affects mammalian reproduction. Photoperiod is a key inducer which plays an important role in gene expression regulation by affecting epigenetic modification. However, fewer studies have confirmed how photoperiod induces epigenetic modifications of the GNAQ gene. In this study, we examined the expression and epigenetic changes of GNAQ in the hypothalamus in ovariectomized and estradiol-treated (OVX+E2) sheep under three photoperiod treatments (short photoperiod treatment for 42 days, SP42; long photoperiod treatment for 42 days, LP42; 42 days of short photoperiod followed by 42 days of long photoperiod, SP-LP42). The results showed that the expression of GNAQ was significantly higher in SP-LP42 than in SP42 and LP42 (p < 0.05). Whole genome methylation sequencing (WGBS) results showed that there are multiple differentially methylated regions (DMRs) and loci between different groups of GNAQ. Among them, the DNA methylation level of DMRs at the CpG1 locus in SP42 was significantly higher than that of SP-LP42 (p < 0.01). Subsequently, we confirmed that the core promoter region of the GNAQ gene was located with 1100 to 1500 bp upstream, and the DNA methylation level of all eight CpG sites in SP42 was significantly higher than those in LP42 (p < 0.01), and significantly higher than those in SP-LP42 (p < 0.01), except site 2 and site 4 in the first sequencing fragment (p < 0.05) in the core promoter region. The expression of acetylated GNAQ histone H3 was significantly higher than that of the control group under three different photoperiods (p < 0.01); the acetylation level of sheep hypothalamic GNAQ genomic protein H3 was significantly lower under SP42 than under SP-LP42 (p < 0.05). This suggests that acetylated histone H3 binds to the core promoter region of the GNAQ gene, implying that GNAQ is epigenetically regulated by photoperiod through histone acetylation. In summary, the results suggest that photoperiod can induce DNA methylation in the core promoter region and histone acetylation in the promoter region of the GNAQ gene, and hypothesize that the two may be key factors in regulating the differential expression of GNAQ under different photoperiods, thus regulating the hypothalamus–pituitary–gonadal axis (HPGA) through the seasonal estrus in sheep. The results of this study will provide some new information to understand the function of epigenetic modifications in reproduction in sheep. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Genetics and Breeding Mechanisms in Domestics Animals)
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24 pages, 5406 KiB  
Article
Transcriptome Analysis Revealed Potential Genes of Skeletal Muscle Thermogenesis in Mashen Pigs and Large White Pigs under Cold Stress
by Wenxia Li, Yufen Chen, Yunting Zhang, Ning Zhao, Wanfeng Zhang, Mingyue Shi, Yan Zhao, Chunbo Cai, Chang Lu, Pengfei Gao, Xiaohong Guo, Bugao Li, Sung-Woo Kim, Yang Yang and Guoqing Cao
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(21), 15534; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms242115534 - 24 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1182
Abstract
Pigs are susceptible to cold stress due to the absence of brown fat caused by the partial deletion of uncoupling protein 1 during their evolution. Some local pig breeds in China exhibit potential cold adaptability, but research has primarily focused on fat and [...] Read more.
Pigs are susceptible to cold stress due to the absence of brown fat caused by the partial deletion of uncoupling protein 1 during their evolution. Some local pig breeds in China exhibit potential cold adaptability, but research has primarily focused on fat and intestinal tissues. Skeletal muscle plays a key role in adaptive thermogenesis in mammals, yet the molecular mechanism of cold adaptation in porcine skeletal muscle remains poorly understood. This study investigated the cold adaptability of two pig breeds, Mashen pigs (MS) and Large White pigs (LW), in a four-day cold (4 °C) or normal temperature (25 °C) environment. We recorded phenotypic changes and collected blood and longissimus dorsi muscle for transcriptome sequencing. Finally, the PRSS8 gene was randomly selected for functional exploration in porcine skeletal muscle satellite cells. A decrease in body temperature and body weight in both LW and MS pigs under cold stress, accompanied by increased shivering frequency and respiratory frequency, were observed. However, the MS pigs demonstrated stable physiological homeostasis, indicating a certain level of cold adaptability. The LW pigs primarily responded to cold stress by regulating their heat production and glycolipid energy metabolism. The MS pigs exhibited a distinct response to cold stress, involving the regulation of heat production, energy metabolism pathways, and robust mitochondrial activity, as well as a stronger immune response. Furthermore, the functional exploration of PRSS8 in porcine skeletal muscle satellite cells revealed that it affected cellular energy metabolism and thermogenesis by regulating ERK phosphorylation. These findings shed light on the diverse transcriptional responses of skeletal muscle in LW and MS pigs under cold stress, offering valuable insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying cold adaptation in pigs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Genetics and Breeding Mechanisms in Domestics Animals)
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13 pages, 11307 KiB  
Article
Proteome Analysis of Alpine Merino Sheep Skin Reveals New Insights into the Mechanisms Involved in Regulating Wool Fiber Diameter
by Lin Yue, Zengkui Lu, Tingting Guo, Jianbin Liu, Bohui Yang and Chao Yuan
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(20), 15227; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms242015227 - 16 Oct 2023
Viewed by 868
Abstract
Wool fiber is a textile material that is highly valued based on its diameter, which is crucial in determining its economic value. To analyze the molecular mechanisms regulating wool fiber diameter, we used a Data-independent acquisition-based quantitative proteomics approach to analyze the skin [...] Read more.
Wool fiber is a textile material that is highly valued based on its diameter, which is crucial in determining its economic value. To analyze the molecular mechanisms regulating wool fiber diameter, we used a Data-independent acquisition-based quantitative proteomics approach to analyze the skin proteome of Alpine Merino sheep with four fiber diameter ranges. From three contrasts of defined groups, we identified 275, 229, and 190 differentially expressed proteins (DEPs). Further analysis using Gene Ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathways revealed that pathways associated with cyclic adenosine monophosphate and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor signaling are relevant to wool fiber diameter. Using the K-means method, we investigated the DEP expression patterns across wool diameter ranges. Using weighted gene co-expression network analysis, we identified seven key proteins (CIDEA, CRYM, MLX, TPST2, GPD1, GOPC, and CAMK2G) that may be involved in regulating wool fiber diameter. Our findings provide a theoretical foundation for identifying DEPs and pathways associated with wool fiber diameter in Alpine Merino sheep to enable a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying the genetic regulation of wool fiber quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Genetics and Breeding Mechanisms in Domestics Animals)
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19 pages, 4672 KiB  
Article
Interaction between Rumen Epithelial miRNAs-Microbiota-Metabolites in Response to Cold-Season Nutritional Stress in Tibetan Sheep
by Weibing Lv, Yuzhu Sha, Xiu Liu, Yanyu He, Jiang Hu, Jiqing Wang, Shaobin Li, Xinyu Guo, Pengyang Shao, Fangfang Zhao and Mingna Li
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(19), 14489; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241914489 - 23 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1334
Abstract
Tibetan sheep are already well adapted to cold season nutrient stress on the Tibetan Plateau. Rumen, an important nutrient for metabolism and as an absorption organ in ruminants, plays a vital role in the cold stress adaptations of Tibetan sheep. Ruminal microbiota also [...] Read more.
Tibetan sheep are already well adapted to cold season nutrient stress on the Tibetan Plateau. Rumen, an important nutrient for metabolism and as an absorption organ in ruminants, plays a vital role in the cold stress adaptations of Tibetan sheep. Ruminal microbiota also plays an indispensable role in rumen function. In this study, combined multiomics data were utilized to comprehensively analyze the interaction mechanism between rumen epithelial miRNAs and microbiota and their metabolites in Tibetan sheep under nutrient stress in the cold season. A total of 949 miRNAs were identified in the rumen epithelium of both cold and warm seasons. A total of 62 differentially expressed (DE) miRNAs were screened using FC > 1.5 and p value < 0.01, and a total of 20,206 targeted genes were predicted by DE miRNAs. KEGG enrichment analysis revealed that DE miRNA-targeted genes were mainly enriched in axon guidance(ko04360), tight junction(ko04530), inflammatory mediator regulation of TRP channels(ko04750) and metabolism-related pathways. Correlation analysis revealed that rumen microbiota, rumen VFAs and DE miRNAs were all correlated. Further study revealed that the targeted genes of cold and warm season rumen epithelial DE miRNAs were coenriched with differential metabolites of microbiota in glycerophospholipid metabolism (ko00564), apoptosis (ko04210), inflammatory mediator regulation of TRP channels (ko04750), small cell lung cancer (ko05222), and choline metabolism in cancer (ko05231) pathways. There are several interactions between Tibetan sheep rumen epithelial miRNAs, rumen microbiota, and microbial metabolites, mainly through maintaining rumen epithelial barrier function and host homeostasis of choline and cholesterol, improving host immunity, and promoting energy metabolism pathways, thus enabling Tibetan sheep to effectively respond to cold season nutrient stress. The results also suggest that rumen microbiota have coevolved with their hosts to improve the adaptive capacity of Tibetan sheep to cold season nutrient stress, providing a new perspective for the study of cold season nutritional stress adaptation in Tibetan sheep. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Genetics and Breeding Mechanisms in Domestics Animals)
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17 pages, 7257 KiB  
Article
METTL3 Promotes the Differentiation of Goat Skeletal Muscle Satellite Cells by Regulating MEF2C mRNA Stability in a m6A-Dependent Manner
by Sen Zhao, Jiaxue Cao, Yanjin Sun, Helin Zhou, Qi Zhu, Dinghui Dai, Siyuan Zhan, Jiazhong Guo, Tao Zhong, Linjie Wang, Li Li and Hongping Zhang
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(18), 14115; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241814115 - 14 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1071
Abstract
The development of mammalian skeletal muscle is a highly complex process involving multiple molecular interactions. As a prevalent RNA modification, N6-methyladenosine (m6A) regulates the expression of target genes to affect mammalian development. Nevertheless, it remains unclear how m6A participates [...] Read more.
The development of mammalian skeletal muscle is a highly complex process involving multiple molecular interactions. As a prevalent RNA modification, N6-methyladenosine (m6A) regulates the expression of target genes to affect mammalian development. Nevertheless, it remains unclear how m6A participates in the development of goat muscle. In this study, methyltransferase 3 (METTL3) was significantly enriched in goat longissimus dorsi (LD) tissue. In addition, the global m6A modification level and differentiation of skeletal muscle satellite cells (MuSCs) were regulated by METTL3. By performing mRNA-seq analysis, 8050 candidate genes exhibited significant changes in expression level after the knockdown of METTL3 in MuSCs. Additionally, methylated RNA immunoprecipitation sequencing (MeRIP-seq) illustrated that myocyte enhancer factor 2c (MEF2C) mRNA contained m6A modification. Further experiments demonstrated that METTL3 enhanced the differentiation of MuSCs by upregulating m6A levels and expression of MEF2C. Moreover, the m6A reader YTH N6-methyladenosine RNA binding protein C1 (YTHDC1) was bound and stabilized to MEF2C mRNA. The present study reveals that METTL3 enhances myogenic differentiation in MuSCs by regulating MEF2C and provides evidence of a post-transcriptional mechanism in the development of goat skeletal muscle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Genetics and Breeding Mechanisms in Domestics Animals)
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14 pages, 2957 KiB  
Article
Genomic Scan for Runs of Homozygosity and Selective Signature Analysis to Identify Candidate Genes in Large White Pigs
by Chang Yin, Yuwei Wang, Peng Zhou, Haoran Shi, Xinyu Ma, Zongjun Yin and Yang Liu
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(16), 12914; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241612914 - 18 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1355
Abstract
Large White pigs are extensively utilized in China for their remarkable characteristics of rapid growth and the high proportion of lean meat. The economic traits of pigs, comprising reproductive and meat quality traits, play a vital role in swine production. In this study, [...] Read more.
Large White pigs are extensively utilized in China for their remarkable characteristics of rapid growth and the high proportion of lean meat. The economic traits of pigs, comprising reproductive and meat quality traits, play a vital role in swine production. In this study, 2295 individuals, representing three different genetic backgrounds Large White pig populations were used: 500 from the Canadian line, 295 from the Danish line, and 1500 from the American line. The GeneSeek 50K GGP porcine HD array was employed to genotype the three pig populations. Firstly, genomic selective signature regions were identified using the pairwise fixation index (FST) and locus-specific branch length (LSBL). By applying a top 1% threshold for both parameters, a total of 888 candidate selective windows were identified, harbouring 1571 genes. Secondly, the investigation of regions of homozygosity (ROH) was performed utilizing the PLINK software. In total, 25 genomic regions exhibiting a high frequency of ROHs were detected, leading to the identification of 1216 genes. Finally, the identified potential functional genes from candidate genomic regions were annotated, and several important candidate genes associated with reproductive traits (ADCYAP1, U2, U6, CETN1, Thoc1, Usp14, GREB1L, FGF12) and meat quality traits (MiR-133, PLEKHO1, LPIN2, SHANK2, FLVCR1, MYL4, SFRP1, miR-486, MYH3, STYX) were identified. The findings of this study provide valuable insights into the genetic basis of economic traits in Large White pigs and may have potential use in future pig breeding programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Genetics and Breeding Mechanisms in Domestics Animals)
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15 pages, 3933 KiB  
Article
Bta-miR-484 Targets SFRP1 and Affects Preadipocytes Proliferation, Differentiation, and Apoptosis
by Mengli Yang, Xiaoqian Gao, Chunli Hu, Shuzhe Wang, Hui Sheng and Yun Ma
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(16), 12710; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241612710 - 11 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1090
Abstract
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are essential regulators of numerous biological processes in animals, including adipogenesis. Despite the abundance of miRNAs associated with adipogenesis, their exact mechanisms of action remain largely unknown. Our study highlights the role of bta-miR-484 as a major regulator of adipocyte proliferation, [...] Read more.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are essential regulators of numerous biological processes in animals, including adipogenesis. Despite the abundance of miRNAs associated with adipogenesis, their exact mechanisms of action remain largely unknown. Our study highlights the role of bta-miR-484 as a major regulator of adipocyte proliferation, apoptosis, and differentiation. Here, we demonstrated that the expression of bta-miR-484 initially increased during adipogenesis before decreasing. Overexpression of bta-miR-484 in adipocytes ultimately inhibited cell proliferation and differentiation, reduced the number of EdU fluorescence-stained cells, increased the number of G1 phase cells, reduced the number of G2 and S phase cells, and downregulated the expression of proliferation markers (CDK2 and PCNA) and differentiation markers (CEBPA, FABP4, and LPL). Additionally, overexpression of bta-miR-484 promoted the expression of apoptosis-related genes (Caspase 3, Caspase 9, and BAX), and increased the number of apoptotic cells observed via flow cytometry. In contrast, bta-miR-484 inhibition in adipocytes yielded opposite effects to those observed during bta-miR-484 overexpression. Moreover, luciferase reporter assays confirmed SFRP1 as a target gene of bta-miR-484, and revealed that bta-miR-484 downregulates SFRP1 mRNA expression. These findings offer compelling evidence that bta-miR-484 targets SFRP1, inhibits proliferation and differentiation, and promotes apoptosis. Therefore, these results offer novel insights into the bta-miR-484 regulation of adipocyte growth and development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Genetics and Breeding Mechanisms in Domestics Animals)
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16 pages, 3240 KiB  
Article
Transcriptomic Analysis Reveals Fibroblast Growth Factor 11 (FGF11) Role in Brown Adipocytes in Thermogenic Regulation of Goats
by Tingting Jiang, Duo Su, Xin Liu, Yan Wang and Linjie Wang
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(13), 10838; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241310838 - 29 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1425
Abstract
Brown adipose tissue (BAT) is the main site of adaptive thermogenesis, generates heat to maintain body temperature upon cold exposure, and protects against obesity by promoting energy expenditure. RNA-seq analysis revealed that FGF11 is enriched in BAT. However, the functions and regulatory mechanisms [...] Read more.
Brown adipose tissue (BAT) is the main site of adaptive thermogenesis, generates heat to maintain body temperature upon cold exposure, and protects against obesity by promoting energy expenditure. RNA-seq analysis revealed that FGF11 is enriched in BAT. However, the functions and regulatory mechanisms of FGF11 in BAT thermogenesis are still limited. In this study, we found that FGF11 was significantly enriched in goat BAT compared with white adipose tissue (WAT). Gain- and loss-of-function experiments revealed that FGF11 promoted differentiation and thermogenesis in brown adipocytes. However, FGF11 had no effect on white adipocyte differentiation. Furthermore, FGF11 promoted the expression of the UCP1 protein and an EBF2 element was responsible for UCP1 promoter activity. Additionally, FGF11 induced UCP1 gene expression through promoting EBF2 binding to the UCP1 promoter. These results revealed that FGF11 promotes differentiation and thermogenesis in brown adipocytes but not in white adipocytes of goats. These findings provide evidence for FGF11 and transcription factor regulatory functions in controlling brown adipose thermogenesis of goats. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Genetics and Breeding Mechanisms in Domestics Animals)
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19 pages, 6389 KiB  
Article
Comprehensive Analysis of YTH Domain-Containing Genes, Encoding m6A Reader and Their Response to Temperature Stresses and Yersinia ruckeri Infection in Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)
by Han Yu, Qinfeng Gao, Wen Wang, Dazhi Liu, Jinghong He and Yuan Tian
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(11), 9348; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24119348 - 27 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1428
Abstract
YTH domain-containing genes are important readers of N6-methyladenosine (m6A) modifications with ability to directly affect the fates of distinct RNAs in organisms. Despite their importance, little is known about YTH domain-containing genes in teleosts until now. In the present [...] Read more.
YTH domain-containing genes are important readers of N6-methyladenosine (m6A) modifications with ability to directly affect the fates of distinct RNAs in organisms. Despite their importance, little is known about YTH domain-containing genes in teleosts until now. In the present study, a total of 10 YTH domain-containing genes have been systematically identified and functionally characterized in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). According to the phylogenetic tree, gene structure and syntenic analysis, these YTH domain-containing genes could be classified into three evolutionary subclades, including YTHDF, YTHDC1 and YTHDC2. Of them, the copy number of OmDF1, OmDF2, OmDF3, and OmDC1 were duplicated or even triplicated in rainbow trout due to the salmonid-specific whole-genome duplication event. The three-dimensional protein structure analysis revealed that there were similar structures and the same amino acid residues that were associated with cage formation between humans and rainbow trout, implying their similar manners in binding to m6A modification. Additionally, the results of qPCR experiment indicated that the expression patterns of a few YTH domain-containing genes, especially OmDF1b, OmDF3a and OmDF3b, were significantly different in liver tissue of rainbow trout under four different temperatures (7 °C, 11 °C, 15 °C, and 19 °C). The expression levels of OmDF1a, OmDF1b and OmDC1a were obviously repressed in spleen tissue of rainbow trout at 24 h after Yersinia ruckeri infection, while increased expression was detected in OmDF3b. This study provides a systemic overview of YTH domain-containing genes in rainbow trout and reveals their biological roles in responses to temperature stress and bacterial infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Genetics and Breeding Mechanisms in Domestics Animals)
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14 pages, 6768 KiB  
Article
HuR Promotes the Differentiation of Goat Skeletal Muscle Satellite Cells by Regulating Myomaker mRNA Stability
by Yanjin Sun, Siyuan Zhan, Sen Zhao, Tao Zhong, Linjie Wang, Jiazhong Guo, Dinghui Dai, Dandan Li, Jiaxue Cao, Li Li and Hongping Zhang
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(8), 6893; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24086893 - 7 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1402
Abstract
Human antigen R (HuR) is an RNA-binding protein that contributes to a wide variety of biological processes and diseases. HuR has been demonstrated to regulate muscle growth and development, but its regulatory mechanisms are not well understood, especially in goats. In this study, [...] Read more.
Human antigen R (HuR) is an RNA-binding protein that contributes to a wide variety of biological processes and diseases. HuR has been demonstrated to regulate muscle growth and development, but its regulatory mechanisms are not well understood, especially in goats. In this study, we found that HuR was highly expressed in the skeletal muscle of goats, and its expression levels changed during longissimus dorsi muscle development in goats. The effects of HuR on goat skeletal muscle development were explored using skeletal muscle satellite cells (MuSCs) as a model. The overexpression of HuR accelerated the expression of myogenic differentiation 1 (MyoD), Myogenin (MyoG), myosin heavy chain (MyHC), and the formation of myotubes, while the knockdown of HuR showed opposite effects in MuSCs. In addition, the inhibition of HuR expression significantly reduced the mRNA stability of MyoD and MyoG. To determine the downstream genes affected by HuR at the differentiation stage, we conducted RNA-Seq using MuSCs treated with small interfering RNA, targeting HuR. The RNA-Seq screened 31 upregulated and 113 downregulated differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in which 11 DEGs related to muscle differentiation were screened for quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) detection. Compared to the control group, the expression of three DEGs (Myomaker, CHRNA1, and CAPN6) was significantly reduced in the siRNA-HuR group (p < 0.01). In this mechanism, HuR bound to Myomaker and increased the mRNA stability of Myomaker. It then positively regulated the expression of Myomaker. Moreover, the rescue experiments indicated that the overexpression of HuR may reverse the inhibitory impact of Myomaker on myoblast differentiation. Together, our findings reveal a novel role for HuR in promoting muscle differentiation in goats by increasing the stability of Myomaker mRNA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Genetics and Breeding Mechanisms in Domestics Animals)
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15 pages, 4567 KiB  
Article
Transcriptome Analysis Reveals the Profile of Long Non-Coding RNAs during Myogenic Differentiation in Goats
by Chenyu Yang, Xinyi Zhou, Yanan Xue, Dandan Li, Linjie Wang, Tao Zhong, Dinghui Dai, Jiaxue Cao, Jiazhong Guo, Li Li, Hongping Zhang and Siyuan Zhan
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(7), 6370; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24076370 - 28 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1652
Abstract
The long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are emerging as essential regulators of the growth and development of skeletal muscles. However, little is known about the expression profiles of lncRNAs during the proliferation and differentiation of skeletal muscle satellite cells (MuSCs) in goats. In this [...] Read more.
The long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are emerging as essential regulators of the growth and development of skeletal muscles. However, little is known about the expression profiles of lncRNAs during the proliferation and differentiation of skeletal muscle satellite cells (MuSCs) in goats. In this study, we investigate potential regulatory lncRNAs that govern muscle development by performing lncRNA expression profiling analysis during the proliferation (cultured in the growth medium, GM) and differentiation (cultured in the differentiation medium, DM1/DM5) of MuSCs. In total, 1001 lncRNAs were identified in MuSC samples, and 314 differentially expressed (DE) (FDR < 0.05, |log2FC| > 1) lncRNAs were screened by pairwise comparisons from three comparison groups (GM-vs-DM1, GM-vs-DM5, DM1-vs-DM5). Moreover, we identified the cis-, trans-, and antisense-regulatory target genes of DE lncRNAs. Gene Ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) enrichment analyses showed that these target genes were significantly enriched in muscle development-related GO terms and KEGG pathways. In addition, the network of interactions between DE lncRNAs and their target genes was identified, which included well-known myogenesis regulators such as Myogenic differentiation 1 (MyoD), Myogenin (MyoG), and Myosin heavy chain (MyHC). Meanwhile, competing endogenous RNA (ceRNA) network analysis showed that 237 DE lncRNAs could bind to 329 microRNAs (miRNAs), while miRNAs could target 564 mRNAs. Together, our results provide a genome-wide resource of lncRNAs that may contribute to myogenic differentiation in goats and lay the groundwork for future investigation into their functions during skeletal muscle development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Genetics and Breeding Mechanisms in Domestics Animals)
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13 pages, 2975 KiB  
Article
METTL3-Mediated LncRNA EN_42575 m6A Modification Alleviates CPB2 Toxin-Induced Damage in IPEC-J2 Cells
by Jiaojiao Yang, Qiaoli Yang, Xiaoyu Huang, Zunqiang Yan, Pengfei Wang, Xiaoli Gao, Jie Li and Shuangbao Gun
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(6), 5725; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24065725 - 16 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1579
Abstract
Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) modified by n6-methyladenosine (m6A) have been implicated in the development and progression of several diseases. However, the mechanism responsible for the role of m6A-modified lncRNAs in Clostridium perfringens type C piglet diarrhea has remained largely unknown. We previously developed [...] Read more.
Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) modified by n6-methyladenosine (m6A) have been implicated in the development and progression of several diseases. However, the mechanism responsible for the role of m6A-modified lncRNAs in Clostridium perfringens type C piglet diarrhea has remained largely unknown. We previously developed an in vitro model of CPB2 toxin-induced piglet diarrhea in IPEC-J2 cells. In addition, we previously performed RNA immunoprecipitation sequencing (MeRIP-seq), which demonstrated lncRNA EN_42575 as one of the most regulated m6A-modified lncRNAs in CPB2 toxin-exposed IPEC-J2 cells. In this study, we used MeRIP-qPCR, FISH, EdU, and RNA pull-down assays to determine the function of lncRNA EN_42575 in CPB2 toxin-exposed IPEC-J2 cells. LncRNA EN_42575 was significantly downregulated at different time points in CPB2 toxin-treated cells. Functionally, lncRNA EN_42575 overexpression reduced cytotoxicity, promoted cell proliferation, and inhibited apoptosis and oxidative damage, whereas the knockdown of lncRNA EN_42575 reversed these results. Furthermore, the dual-luciferase analysis revealed that METTL3 regulated lncRNA EN_42575 expression in an m6A-dependent manner. In conclusion, METTL3-mediated lncRNA EN_42575 exerted a regulatory effect on IPEC-J2 cells exposed to CPB2 toxins. These findings offer novel perspectives to further investigate the function of m6A-modified lncRNAs in piglet diarrhea. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Genetics and Breeding Mechanisms in Domestics Animals)
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17 pages, 19008 KiB  
Article
Genome-Wide Identification and Characterization of Bovine Fibroblast Growth Factor (FGF) Gene and Its Expression during Adipocyte Differentiation
by Hui Sheng, Junxing Zhang, Fen Li, Cuili Pan, Mengli Yang, Yuan Liu, Bei Cai, Lingkai Zhang and Yun Ma
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(6), 5663; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24065663 - 16 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1674
Abstract
Fibroblast growth factor (FGF) family genes are a class of polypeptide factors with similar structures that play an important role in regulating cell proliferation and differentiation, nutritional metabolism, and neural activity. In previous studies, the FGF gene has been widely studied and analyzed [...] Read more.
Fibroblast growth factor (FGF) family genes are a class of polypeptide factors with similar structures that play an important role in regulating cell proliferation and differentiation, nutritional metabolism, and neural activity. In previous studies, the FGF gene has been widely studied and analyzed in many species. However, the systematic study of the FGF gene in cattle has not been reported. In this study, 22 FGF genes distributed on 15 chromosomes were identified in the Bos taurus genome and clustered into seven subfamilies according to phylogenetic analysis and conservative domains. Collinear analysis showed that the bovine FGF gene family was homologous to Bos grunniens, Bos indicus, Hybrid-Bos taurus, Bubalus bubalis, and Hybrid-Bos indicus, and tandem replication and fragment replication were the key driving forces for the expansion of the gene family. Tissue expression profiling showed that bovine FGF genes were commonly expressed in different tissues, with FGF1, FGF5, FGF10, FGF12, FGF16, FGF17, and FGF20 being highly expressed in adipose tissue. In addition, real-time fluorescence quantitative PCR (qRT-PCR) detection showed that some FGF genes were differentially expressed before and after adipocyte differentiation, indicating their diverse role in the formation of lipid droplets. This study made a comprehensive exploration of the bovine FGF family and laid a foundation for further study on the potential function in the regulation of bovine adipogenic differentiation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Genetics and Breeding Mechanisms in Domestics Animals)
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23 pages, 8510 KiB  
Article
Gene Co-Expression Network Analysis Reveals the Hub Genes and Key Pathways Associated with Resistance to Salmonella Enteritidis Colonization in Chicken
by Qiao Wang, Mamadou Thiam, Astrid Lissette Barreto Sánchez, Zixuan Wang, Jin Zhang, Qinghe Li, Jie Wen and Guiping Zhao
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(5), 4824; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24054824 - 2 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2257
Abstract
Salmonella negatively impacts the poultry industry and threatens animals’ and humans’ health. The gastrointestinal microbiota and its metabolites can modulate the host’s physiology and immune system. Recent research demonstrated the role of commensal bacteria and short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) in developing resistance to [...] Read more.
Salmonella negatively impacts the poultry industry and threatens animals’ and humans’ health. The gastrointestinal microbiota and its metabolites can modulate the host’s physiology and immune system. Recent research demonstrated the role of commensal bacteria and short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) in developing resistance to Salmonella infection and colonization. However, the complex interactions among chicken, Salmonella, host–microbiome, and microbial metabolites remain unelucidated. Therefore, this study aimed to explore these complex interactions by identifying the driver and hub genes highly correlated with factors that confer resistance to Salmonella. Differential gene expression (DEGs) and dynamic developmental genes (DDGs) analyses and weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA) were performed using transcriptome data from the cecum of Salmonella Enteritidis-infected chicken at 7 and 21 days after infection. Furthermore, we identified the driver and hub genes associated with important traits such as the heterophil/lymphocyte (H/L) ratio, body weight post-infection, bacterial load, propionate and valerate cecal contents, and Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, and Proteobacteria cecal relative abundance. Among the multiple genes detected in this study, EXFABP, S100A9/12, CEMIP, FKBP5, MAVS, FAM168B, HESX1, EMC6, and others were found as potential candidate gene and transcript (co-) factors for resistance to Salmonella infection. In addition, we found that the PPAR and oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) metabolic pathways were also involved in the host’s immune response/defense against Salmonella colonization at the earlier and later stage post-infection, respectively. This study provides a valuable resource of transcriptome profiles from chicken cecum at the earlier and later stage post-infection and mechanistic understanding of the complex interactions among chicken, Salmonella, host–microbiome, and associated metabolites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Genetics and Breeding Mechanisms in Domestics Animals)
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Review

Jump to: Research

19 pages, 4421 KiB  
Review
Effects of DNA Methylation on Gene Expression and Phenotypic Traits in Cattle: A Review
by Junxing Zhang, Hui Sheng, Chunli Hu, Fen Li, Bei Cai, Yanfen Ma, Yachun Wang and Yun Ma
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(15), 11882; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241511882 - 25 Jul 2023
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3431
Abstract
Gene expression in cells is determined by the epigenetic state of chromatin. Therefore, the study of epigenetic changes is very important to understand the regulatory mechanism of genes at the molecular, cellular, tissue and organ levels. DNA methylation is one of the most [...] Read more.
Gene expression in cells is determined by the epigenetic state of chromatin. Therefore, the study of epigenetic changes is very important to understand the regulatory mechanism of genes at the molecular, cellular, tissue and organ levels. DNA methylation is one of the most studied epigenetic modifications, which plays an important role in maintaining genome stability and ensuring normal growth and development. Studies have shown that methylation levels in bovine primordial germ cells, the rearrangement of methylation during embryonic development and abnormal methylation during placental development are all closely related to their reproductive processes. In addition, the application of bovine male sterility and assisted reproductive technology is also related to DNA methylation. This review introduces the principle, development of detection methods and application conditions of DNA methylation, with emphasis on the relationship between DNA methylation dynamics and bovine spermatogenesis, embryonic development, disease resistance and muscle and fat development, in order to provide theoretical basis for the application of DNA methylation in cattle breeding in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Genetics and Breeding Mechanisms in Domestics Animals)
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26 pages, 2907 KiB  
Review
Overview of Avian Sex Reversal
by Xiuan Zhang, Jianbo Li, Sirui Chen, Ning Yang and Jiangxia Zheng
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(9), 8284; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24098284 - 5 May 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3130
Abstract
Sex determination and differentiation are processes by which a bipotential gonad adopts either a testicular or ovarian cell fate, and secondary sexual characteristics adopt either male or female developmental patterns. In birds, although genetic factors control the sex determination program, sex differentiation is [...] Read more.
Sex determination and differentiation are processes by which a bipotential gonad adopts either a testicular or ovarian cell fate, and secondary sexual characteristics adopt either male or female developmental patterns. In birds, although genetic factors control the sex determination program, sex differentiation is sensitive to hormones, which can induce sex reversal when disturbed. Although these sex-reversed birds can form phenotypes opposite to their genotypes, none can experience complete sex reversal or produce offspring under natural conditions. Promising evidence indicates that the incomplete sex reversal is associated with cell autonomous sex identity (CASI) of avian cells, which is controlled by genetic factors. However, studies cannot clearly describe the regulatory mechanism of avian CASI and sex development at present, and these factors require further exploration. In spite of this, the abundant findings of avian sex research have provided theoretical bases for the progress of gender control technologies, which are being improved through interdisciplinary co-operation and will ultimately be employed in poultry production. In this review, we provide an overview of avian sex determination and differentiation and comprehensively summarize the research progress on sex reversal in birds, especially chickens. Importantly, we describe key issues faced by applying gender control systems in poultry production and chronologically summarize the development of avian sex control methods. In conclusion, this review provides unique perspectives for avian sex studies and helps scientists develop more advanced systems for sex regulation in birds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Genetics and Breeding Mechanisms in Domestics Animals)
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