[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Boar taint is an unpleasant odour and flavour of the meat from some uncastrated male pigs primarily caused by elevated levels of androstenone and skatole in adipose tissue. Androstenone is produced in the same biochemical pathway as testosterone and estrogens, which represents a particular challenge when selecting against high levels of androstenone in the breeding programme, without simultaneously decreasing levels of other steroids. Detection of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with compounds affecting boar taint is important both for gaining a better understanding of the complex regulation of the trait and for the purpose of identifying markers that can be used to improve the gain of breeding. The beneficial SNPs to be used in breeding would have the combinational effects of reducing levels of boar taint without affecting fertility of the animals. The aim of this study was to detect SNPs in boar taint candidate genes and to perform association studies for both single SNPs and haplotypes with levels of boar taint compounds and phenotypes related to reproduction.
An association study involving 275 SNPs in 121 genes and compounds related to boar taint and reproduction were carried out in Duroc and Norwegian Landrace boars. Phenotypes investigated were levels of androstenone, skatole and indole in adipose tissue, levels of androstenone, testosterone, estrone sulphate and 17beta-estradiol in plasma, and length of bulbo urethralis gland. The SNPs were genotyped in more than 2800 individuals and several SNPs were found to be significantly (LRT > 5.4) associated with the different phenotypes. Genes with significant SNPs in either of the traits investigated include cytochrome P450 members CYP2E1, CYP21, CYP2D6 and CYP2C49, steroid 5alpha-reductase SRD5A2, nuclear receptor NGFIB, catenin CTNND1, BRCA1 associated protein BAP1 and hyaluronoglucosaminidase HYAL2. Haplotype analysis provided additional evidence for an effect of CYP2E1 on levels of skatole and indole, and for BAP1, HYAL2 and SRD5A2 on levels of androstenone.
The findings in this study indicate that polymorphisms in CYP2E1, CYP21, CYP2D6, CYP2C49, NGFIB and CTNND1 might be used to reduce levels of boar taint without affecting levels of testosterone, estrone sulphate, 17beta-estradiol or length of bulbo urethralis gland.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alpha-synuclein is the main constituent of Lewy bodies in familial and sporadic cases of Parkinson's disease (PD). Autosomal dominant point mutations, gene duplications or triplications in the alpha-synuclein (SNCA) gene cause hereditary forms of PD. One of the alpha-synuclein point mutations, Ala53Thr, is associated with increased oligomerization toxicity leading to familial early-onset PD in humans. The amino acid in position 53 in alpha-synuclein is an alanine in humans, great apes and Old World primates. However, this amino acid is a threonine in the alpha-synuclein of all other examined species, including New World monkeys. Here, we present DNA sequence analysis of SNCA and the deduced amino acid sequences of alpha-synuclein cloned from various different species, ranging from fish to mammals, which are known for their long-living potential. In all these investigated species the 53Thr is found. We conclude that 53Thr is not a molecular adaptation for long-living animals to minimize the risk of developing PD.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 08/2009; 387(3):602-5. · 2.28 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The European bison (Bison bonasus) has recovered successfully after a severe bottleneck about 90 years ago but has been left with low genetic variability that may substantially hinder parentage and identity analysis. According to pedigree analysis, over 80% of the genes in the contemporary population descend from just two founder animals and inbreeding coefficients averaged almost 0.5, whereas microsatellite heterozygosity does not exceed 0.3. We present a comparison of the effectiveness of 17 microsatellite and 960 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers for paternity and identity analysis in the European bison. Microsatellite-based paternity and identity analysis was unsuccessful because of low marker heterozygosity and is not a practical approach in this species. Simulations using SNP markers suggest that 80-90 randomly selected loci, or just 50-60 of the most heterozygous loci, would be sufficient to ensure successful paternity and identity analysis in this species. For the purpose of standardizing future analysis, a panel of 50-60 bovine SNPs characterized by high heterozygosity and an even distribution in the genome could be selected. This panel of markers could be typed using VeraCode (Illumina) or similar SNP genotyping systems. The low cost of these SNP genotyping methods compared with a 16 locus microsatellite survey means that off-the-shelf SNP genotyping systems developed for domestic species represent powerful tools for genetic analysis in related species, and can be effective even in bottlenecked species in which heterozygosity of other markers such as microsatellites may be very low.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The synuclein family includes three known proteins: alpha-synuclein, beta-synuclein and gamma-synuclein. beta-Synuclein inhibits the aggregation of alpha-synuclein, a protein involved in Parkinson's disease. We have cloned and characterized the cDNA sequence for porcine beta-synuclein (SNCB) from pig cerebellum using RT-PCR. Expression analysis by quantitative RT-PCR demonstrated that SNCB transcripts were highly abundant in brain tissues. SNCB mRNA was also detected early in embryogenesis and significant increases in transcript levels were observed in several brain tissues during embryo development. Radiation hybrid mapping data indicate that the porcine SNCB maps to the q arm of chromosome 2 (2q21-22). The subcellular localization of recombinant porcine beta-synuclein was determined in three different cell types and shown to be cytoplasmic.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genetic linkage maps are necessary for mapping of mendelian traits and quantitative trait loci (QTLs). To identify the actual genes, which control these traits, a map based on gene-associated single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers is highly valuable. In this study, the SNPs were genotyped in a large family material comprising more than 5,000 piglets derived from 12 Duroc boars crossed with 236 Danish Landrace/Danish Large White sows. The SNPs were identified in sequence alignments of 4,600 different amplicons obtained from the 12 boars and containing coding regions of genes derived from expressed sequence tags (ESTs) and genomic shotgun sequences.
Linkage maps of all 18 porcine autosomes were constructed based on 456 gene-associated and six porcine EST-based SNPs. The total length of the averaged-sex whole porcine autosome was estimated to 1,711.8 cM resulting in an average SNP spacing of 3.94 cM. The female and male maps were estimated to 2,336.1 and 1,441.5 cM, respectively. The gene order was validated through comparisons to the cytogenetic and/or physical location of 203 genes, linkage to evenly spaced microsatellite markers as well as previously reported conserved synteny. A total of 330 previously unmapped genes and ESTs were mapped to the porcine autosome while ten genes were mapped to unexpected locations.
The linkage map presented here shows high accuracy in gene order. The pedigree family network as well as the large amount of meiotic events provide good reliability and make this map suitable for QTL and association studies. In addition, the linkage to the RH-map of microsatellites makes it suitable for comparison to other QTL studies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The recent development within high-throughput technologies for expression profiling has allowed for parallel analysis of transcriptomes and proteomes in biological systems such as comparative analysis of transcript and protein levels of tissue regulated genes. Until now, such studies of have only included microarray or short length sequence tags for transcript profiling. Furthermore, most comparisons of transcript and protein levels have been based on absolute expression values from within the same tissue and not relative expression values based on tissue ratios.
Presented here is a novel study of two porcine tissues based on integrative analysis of data from expression profiling of identical samples using cDNA microarray, 454-sequencing and iTRAQ-based proteomics. Sequence homology identified 2.541 unique transcripts that are detectable by both microarray hybridizations and 454-sequencing of 1.2 million cDNA tags. Both transcript-based technologies showed high reproducibility between sample replicates of the same tissue, but the correlation across these two technologies was modest. Thousands of genes being differentially expressed were identified with microarray. Out of the 306 differentially expressed genes, identified by 454-sequencing, 198 (65%) were also found by microarray. The relationship between the regulation of transcript and protein levels was analyzed by integrating iTRAQ-based proteomics data. Protein expression ratios were determined for 354 genes, of which 148 could be mapped to both microarray and 454-sequencing data. A comparison of the expression ratios from the three technologies revealed that differences in transcript and protein levels across heart and muscle tissues are positively correlated.
We show that the reproducibility within cDNA microarray and 454-sequencing is high, but that the agreement across these two technologies is modest. We demonstrate that the regulation of transcript and protein levels across identical tissue samples is positively correlated when the tissue expression ratios are used for comparison. The results presented are of interest in systems biology research in terms of integration and analysis of high-throughput expression data from mammalian tissues.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The dissection of complex traits of economic importance to the pig industry requires the availability of a significant number of genetic markers, such as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). This study was conducted to discover several hundreds of thousands of porcine SNPs using next generation sequencing technologies and use these SNPs, as well as others from different public sources, to design a high-density SNP genotyping assay.
A total of 19 reduced representation libraries derived from four swine breeds (Duroc, Landrace, Large White, Pietrain) and a Wild Boar population and three restriction enzymes (AluI, HaeIII and MspI) were sequenced using Illumina's Genome Analyzer (GA). The SNP discovery effort resulted in the de novo identification of over 372K SNPs. More than 549K SNPs were used to design the Illumina Porcine 60K+SNP iSelect Beadchip, now commercially available as the PorcineSNP60. A total of 64,232 SNPs were included on the Beadchip. Results from genotyping the 158 individuals used for sequencing showed a high overall SNP call rate (97.5%). Of the 62,621 loci that could be reliably scored, 58,994 were polymorphic yielding a SNP conversion success rate of 94%. The average minor allele frequency (MAF) for all scorable SNPs was 0.274.
Overall, the results of this study indicate the utility of using next generation sequencing technologies to identify large numbers of reliable SNPs. In addition, the validation of the PorcineSNP60 Beadchip demonstrated that the assay is an excellent tool that will likely be used in a variety of future studies in pigs.
PLoS ONE 02/2009; 4(8):e6524. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The TOR1A (also named DYT1) gene encodes a protein, TorsinA, a member of the AAA+ superfamily of ATPases. The AAA+ proteins have diverse functions such as organelle biogenesis, proteosome function, chaperone function, membrane trafficking and microtubule regulation. However, the molecular function of TorsinA is still largely unknown. Mutations in the TOR1A gene, primarily a 3-bp (GAG) deletion are associated with early-onset autosomal dominant torsion dystonia. Animal models may help to provide information about the underlying cellular and molecular mechanism of early-onset generalized dystonia. The close anatomical, physiological, genetic and biochemical resemblance between man and pig suggest that this animal may constitute an excellent model for this disease. This work reports the cloning and analysis of the porcine (Sus scrofa) homologue of TOR1A. Two porcine TOR1A cDNAs were amplified by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), using oligonucleotide primers derived from in silico sequences. The porcine TOR1A cDNAs both encode a protein of 333 amino acids which shows a very high similarity to human (92%) TorsinA. Protein structure comparison of human and porcine TorsinA sequences revealed that there were few differences in the amino acid sequences between the two species and these are not likely to alter TorsinA structure and function. Quantitative real-time RT-PCR detection exhibited TOR1A mRNA expression in all analyzed porcine tissues, although at different levels. The TOR1A gene was demonstrated to be localized on porcine chromosome 1. Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analysis revealed several SNPs in the porcine TOR1A gene, both in the coding region and also in the 3' UTR region. Overexpression of mutant (DeltaE303-304) porcine TorsinA in neuroblastoma cells leads to a more perinuclear localization compared with a cytoplasmatic localization for wildtype TorsinA. Furthermore, inclusion-like structures were observed. In conclusion, the results obtained for porcine TOR1A suggest that the pig could be an ideal model for early-onset generalized dystonia.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to 1) detect QTL across the cattle genome that influence the incidence of clinical mastitis and somatic cell score (SCS) in Danish Holsteins, and 2) characterize these QTL for pleiotropy versus multiple linked quantitative trait loci (QTL) when chromosomal regions affecting clinical mastitis were also affecting other traits in the Danish udder health index or milk production traits. The chromosomes were scanned using a granddaughter design where markers were typed for 19 to 34 grandsire families and 1,373 to 2,042 sons. A total of 356 microsatellites covering all 29 autosomes were used in the scan. Among the across-family regression analyses, 16 showed chromosome-wide significance for the primary traits incidence of clinical mastitis in first (CM1), second (CM2), and third (CM3) lactations, and SCS. Regions of chromosomes 5, 6, 9, 11, 15, and 26 were found to affect CM and regions of chromosomes 5, 6, 8, 13, 22, 23, 24, and 25 affected SCS. Markers on chromosomes 6, 11, 15, and 26 can be used to perform marker-assisted selection on CM without a direct negative selection on milk yield, because no effects were detected on the milk traits. Comparing multi-trait models assuming either a pleiotropic QTL affecting 2 traits or 2 QTL each affecting 1 trait gave some evidence to distinguish between these models. For Bos taurus autosome 5, the most likely models were a pleiotropic QTL affecting CM2, CM3, and SCS, and a linked QTL affecting fat yield index. For Bos taurus autosome 9, the most likely model is a pleiotropic QTL affecting CM1 and CM2 at approximately 8 cM.
Journal of Dairy Science 11/2008; 91(10):4028-36. · 2.57 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Boar taint is the unpleasant odour and flavour of the meat of uncastrated male pigs that is primarily caused by high levels of androstenone and skatole in adipose tissue. Androstenone is a steroid and its levels are mainly genetically determined. Studies on androstenone metabolism have, however, focused on a limited number of genes. Identification of additional genes influencing levels of androstenone may facilitate implementation of marker assisted breeding practices. In this study, microarrays were used to identify differentially expressed genes and pathways related to androstenone metabolism in the liver from boars with extreme levels of androstenone in adipose tissue.
Liver tissue samples from 58 boars of the two breeds Duroc and Norwegian Landrace, 29 with extreme high and 29 with extreme low levels of androstenone, were selected from more than 2500 individuals. The samples were hybridised to porcine cDNA microarrays and the 1% most significant differentially expressed genes were considered significant. Among the differentially expressed genes were metabolic phase I related genes belonging to the cytochrome P450 family and the flavin-containing monooxygenase FMO1. Additionally, phase II conjugation genes including UDP-glucuronosyltransferases UGT1A5, UGT2A1 and UGT2B15, sulfotransferase STE, N-acetyltransferase NAT12 and glutathione S-transferase were identified. Phase I and phase II metabolic reactions increase the water solubility of steroids and play a key role in their elimination. Differential expression was also found for genes encoding 17beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases (HSD17B2, HSD17B4, HSD17B11 and HSD17B13) and plasma proteins alpha-1-acid glycoprotein (AGP) and orosomucoid (ORM1). 17beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases and plasma proteins regulate the availability of steroids by controlling the amount of active steroids accessible to receptors and available for metabolism. Differences in the expression of FMO1, NAT12, HSD17B2 and HSD17B13 were verified by quantitative real competitive PCR.
A number of genes and pathways related to metabolism of androstenone in liver were identified, including new candidate genes involved in phase I oxidation metabolism, phase II conjugation metabolism, and regulation of steroid availability. The study is a first step towards a deeper understanding of enzymes and regulators involved in pathways of androstenone metabolism and may ultimately lead to the discovery of markers to reduce boar taint.
BMC Veterinary Research 09/2008; 4:29. · 1.86 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Paleo-Eskimo Saqqaq and Independence I cultures, documented from archaeological remains in Northern Canada and Greenland, represent the earliest human expansion into the New World's northern extremes. However, their origin and genetic relationship to later cultures are unknown. We sequenced a mitochondrial genome from a Paleo-Eskimo human by using 3400-to 4500-year-old frozen hair excavated from an early Greenlandic Saqqaq settlement. The sample is distinct from modern Native Americans and Neo-Eskimos, falling within haplogroup D2a1, a group previously observed among modern Aleuts and Siberian Sireniki Yuit. This result suggests that the earliest migrants into the New World's northern extremes derived from populations in the Bering Sea area and were not directly related to Native Americans or the later Neo-Eskimos that replaced them.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The gamma-synuclein protein is involved in breast carcinogenesis and has also been implicated in other forms of cancer and in ocular diseases. Furthermore, gamma-synuclein is believed to have a role in certain neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. This work reports the cloning and characterization of the porcine (Sus scrofa) gamma-synuclein cDNA (SNCG). The SNCG cDNA was amplified by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) using oligonucleotide primers derived from in silico sequences. The porcine SNCG cDNA codes for a protein of 126 amino acids which shows a high similarity to bovine (90%), human (87%) and mouse (83%) gamma-synuclein. A genomic clone containing the entire porcine SNCG gene was isolated and its genomic organization determined. The gene is composed of five exons, the general structure being observed to be very similar to that of the human SNCG gene. Expression analysis by quantitative real-time RT-PCR revealed the presence of SNCG transcripts in all examined organs and tissues. Differential expression was observed, with very high levels of SNCG mRNA in fat tissue and high expression levels in spleen, cerebellum, frontal cortex and pituitary gland. Expression analysis also showed that porcine SNCG transcripts could be detected in different brain regions during early stages of embryo development. The porcine SNCG orthologue was mapped to chromosome 14q25-q29. The distribution of recombinant porcine gamma-synuclein was studied in three different transfected cell lines and the protein was found to be predominantly localized in the cytoplasm.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: After parenchymal loss, the liver regenerates restoring normal mass and metabolic function. Prevailing theories on triggering events leading to regeneration include humoral, metabolic, and flow-mediated mechanisms, the latter emphasizing the importance of shear stress mediated nitric oxide regulation. We aimed to investigate whether the grade of resection and hence the portal venous pressure and sinusoidal shear stress increase would be reflected in the gene expression profiles in the liver remnant by using a global porcine cDNA microarray chip with approximately 23,000 genes represented. Six pig livers were resected with 62% (low portal pressure resection) and 75% (high portal pressure resection), resulting in a portal venous pressure increase from a baseline of 6.1-8.2 and 12 mmHg, respectively. By sampling consecutive biopsies from the liver remnants, we found differentially expressed genes in the high portal pressure resection group to have functions related primarily to apoptosis, nitric oxide metabolism and oxidative stress, whereas differentially expressed genes in the low portal pressure resection group potentially regulate the cell cycle. Common to both groups was the upregulation of genes regulating inflammation, transport, cell proliferation, development, and protein metabolism. Also common to both groups was both up- and downregulation of genes regulating cell-cell signaling, signal transduction, cell adhesion, and translation. Genes regulating the metabolism of lipids, hormones, amines, and alcohol were downregulated in both groups. In conclusion, the genetic regenerative response in the liver remnant to varies according to the level of resection.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent studies of mammalian genomes have uncovered the extent of copy number variation (CNV) that contributes to phenotypic diversity, including health and disease status. Here we report a first account of CNVs in the pig genome covering part of the chromosomes 4, 7, 14, and 17 already sequenced and assembled. A custom tiling oligonucleotide array was used with a median probe spacing of 409 bp for screening 12 unrelated Duroc boars that are founders of a large family material. After a strict CNV calling pipeline, 37 copy number variable regions (CNVRs) across all four chromosomes were identified, with five CNVRs overlapping segmental duplications, three overlapping pig unigenes and one overlapping a RefSeq pig mRNA. This CNV snapshot analysis is the first of its kind in the porcine genome and constitutes the basis for a better understanding of porcine phenotypes and genotypes with the prospect of identifying important economic traits.
PLoS ONE 02/2008; 3(12):e3916. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent developments in sequencing technology have allowed the generation of millions of short read sequences in a fast and inexpensive way. This enables the cost effective large scale identification of hundreds of thousands of SNPs needed for the development of high density SNP arrays. Currently, a high density swine SNP chip is being developed as part of an integrated effort of several European and American institutions involved in swine genomics research. The future pig SNP chip will include already validated SNPs as well as SNPs identified de novo using second generation sequencing on the Illumina 1 G analyzer (Solexa) and the Roche 454 sequencer. Towards this end, a total of 15 DNA libraries were prepared using pooled DNA samples from five breeds (Duroc, Landrace, Large White, Pietrain and Wild Boar) digested with three restriction enzymes (AluI, HaeIII, MspI). Fragments in the size range of 150-200 bp were selected for sequencing. The ends of these fragments (35 bp) will be sequenced at 30X coverage complemented with 2X sequencing of the complete fragment using 454 sequence technology. The Solexa short sequence reads will be filtered using several quality criteria to produce the dataset used for SNP discovery. Additional criteria for the selection of the 60K SNPs include the estimated minor allele frequency and genome position of the SNPs. The high density 60K SNP chip will be an extremely valuable tool for the pig genomics community for a variety of applications including QTL and LD mapping, association studies and genomic selection.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Innate immune system abnormalities, e.g., mannan-binding lectin (MBL) genotype variants, have been demonstrated to modify the disease course of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Surfactant protein D (SP-D) shares important structural and functional properties with MBL suggesting that SP-D may be an additional RA disease modifier. The Met11Thr polymorphism in the N-terminal part of SP-D is an important determinant for the SP-D serum level, but this polymorphism is also essential to the function and assembly into oligomers. We aimed to compare the serum levels of SP-D in a cohort of newly diagnosed untreated RA patients with healthy matched controls, and to investigate if there was an association to core measures of disease activity within the first year after disease onset. Secondly, we aimed to investigate whether the Met11Thr polymorphism was associated with RA. Serum SP-D was significantly lower in DMARD naive RA patients compared with healthy controls (P = 0.016). Median SP-D concentration at inclusion was 878 ng/ml (95% CI: 730-1033) and 1164 ng/ml (95% CI: 1093-1366) in RA patients and matched controls, respectively. SP-D increased during Methotrexate treatment (P < 0.0001), and at 1-year follow-up median SP-D was 1032 ng/ml (95% CI: 777-1255). SP-D levels did not correlate with traditional disease activity measures. The Thr11/Thr11 genotype and the Thr11 allele tended to be more frequent in RA patients. In conclusion, the low serum level of SP-D and the lack of correlation with traditional disease activity measures indicate that SP-D reflects a distinctive aspect in the RA pathogenesis.
Scandinavian Journal of Immunology 01/2008; 67(1):71-6. · 2.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The KPL2 gene is expressed predominantly in cells with cilia or flagella. We have previously demonstrated that a large intronic insertion in KPL2 is associated with immotile sperm cells and infertility in the domesticated pig (Sus scrofa). To fully characterize the structure of the mutation, we have now cloned and sequenced the insertion. The data identified the presence of a long interspersed nuclear element-1 (LINE-1) encoding all activities required for retrotransposition, including a 5'-untranslated region (UTR) with an internal RNA polymerase II promoter, two open reading frames (ORF1 and ORF2) separated by an intergenic region and a 3' UTR containing a polyadenylation signal. Characterization of the junctions between the LINE-1 and the genomic target revealed the presence of direct repeats of 14 bp at both ends, showing that integration occurred by target-primed reverse transcription. Furthermore, sequence analysis suggested that the aberrant splicing pattern of KPL2 transcripts induced by the LINE-1 element is caused by interference with putative intronic splice signals and activation of a cryptic splice site. These data demonstrate that integration of a transposition-competent L1 element into KPL2 is responsible for the defective spermatozoa, which accentuates the role of mobile DNA elements as insertional mutagens in mammalian genomes.
Molecular Genetics and Genomics 11/2007; 278(4):385-91. · 2.88 Impact Factor