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Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances
Year: 2012  |  Volume: 11  |  Issue: 21  |  Page No.: 3969 - 3977

Genes Expression Related to Intramuscular Fat Deposition in Muscles of Small Tail Han Sheep

Yan Liu, Teng Ma, Weihua Du, Haisheng Hao, Dong Wang, Xueming Zhao, Haijing Li, Qiuling Jiang and Huabin Zhu    

Abstract: Intramuscular Fat (IMF) is an important factor affecting meat quality. The objective of this study was to investigate the expression changes of genes related to IMF formation in muscles of Small Tail Han sheep. These genes include Acetyl CoA Carboxylase (ACC), Fatty Acid Synthase (FAS), Diacylglycerol Acyltransferase 1 (DGAT1), Heart Fatty Acid Binding Protein (H-FABP), CCAAT-Enhancer-Binding Protein α (C/EBPα), Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor γ (PPARγ), Malic Enzyme ( ME) and Lipoprotein Lipase (LPL). In the longissimus dorsi, IMF content continuously increased with growth and was significantly different (p<0.05) at all 4 months; however, IMF content reached a maximum at 5 months in the gluteus maximus. The gene expression patterns of the 8 genes involved in IMF synthesis mainly followed one of 2 trends: gene expression tended to be lowest at 4 or 5 months and then subsequently increase in the longissimus dorsi whereas gene expression tended to peak at 4 or 5 months and then subsequently decrease in the gluteus maximus. Intramuscular fat content correlated with the expression levels of all genes in the longissimus dorsi and all genes except DGAT1, H-FABP in the gluteus maximus. Remarkably, all of the above correlations between IMF and gene expression levels were positive. In conclusion, the correlation between gene expression levels and IMF content indicate that these genes play an important role in the deposition of IMF in Small Tail Han sheep.

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