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Journal of Animal Science Abstract - Molecular Genetics

Single nucleotide polymorphisms in several porcine cathepsin genes are associated with growth, carcass, and production traits in Italian Large White pigs1


This article in

  1. Vol. 86 No. 12, p. 3300-3314
    unlockOPEN ACCESS
    Received: Feb 01, 2008
    Accepted: Aug 13, 2008
    Published: December 5, 2014

    2 Corresponding author(s):

  1. V. Russo*,
  2. L. Fontanesi*2,
  3. E. Scotti*,
  4. F. Beretti*,
  5. R. Davoli*,
  6. L. Nanni Costa*,
  7. R. Virgili and
  8. L. Buttazzoni
  1. Dipartimento di Protezione e Valorizzazione Agroalimentare, Sezione di Allevamenti Zootecnici, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Bologna, 42100 Reggio Emilia, Italy;
    Stazione Sperimentale per l’Industria delle Conserve Alimentari, 43100 Parma, Italy; and
    Associazione Nazionale Allevatori Suini, 00161 Roma, Italy


To identify DNA markers associated with performance, carcass, and meat production traits including muscle postmortem cathepsin activity, several porcine genes encoding for lysosomal proteinases (cathepsin B, CTSB; cathepsin D, CTSD; cathepsin F, CTSF; cathepsin H, CTSH; cathepsin L, CTSL; and cathepsin Z, CTSZ) and for a cathepsin inhibitor (cystatin B) were investigated. Single nucleotide polymorphisms were identified in CTSD, CTSH, CTSL, and CTSZ genes with a combination of in silico expressed sequence tag database mining and single-strand conformation polymorphism analysis. Sequencing and PCR-RFLP protocols were used to validate the identified polymorphisms. Allele frequencies at these loci were investigated in Italian Large White, Landrace, Duroc, Piétrain, Belgian Landrace, Hampshire, and Meishan breeds. Genotyping CTSD and CTSH markers made it possible to genetically map these genes to SSC 2 and 7, respectively. Markers in CTSD, CTSH, CTSL, and CTSZ genes, together with mutations we previously reported in cystatin B, CTSB, and CTSF genes, were genotyped in an Italian Large White sib-tested population (272 or 482 animals). For these animals, meat quality traits (cathepsin B activity, pH measured at 2 h postmortem, pH measured at 24 h postmortem, glycogen, lactate, and glycolytic potential of semimembranosus muscle) and EBV for ADG, lean cuts (LC), backfat thickness (BFT), ham weight (HW), and feed:gain ratio (FGR) were determined. Analyzed markers did not show any association with muscle cathepsin B activity. Thus, it could be possible that different genes, other than these investigated candidates, affect this trait, which is correlated with the excessive softness defect of dry-cured hams. The results of association analysis confirmed the effects we already reported in another study for CTSF on ADG (P = 0.008), LC (P = 0.001), and BFT (P = 0.02). Moreover, CTSD was associated with ADG, LC (P < 0.0001), BFT, HW, and FGR (P < 0.001); CTSH was associated with FGR (P = 0.026); and CTSZ was associated with ADG (P = 0.006), LC (P = 0.01), HW (P = 0.024), and FGR (P = 0.029). The biochemical and physiological functions of the lysosomal proteinases, together with the results obtained in our investigation, suggest that the cathepsin gene family might play important roles affecting economic traits in pigs.

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