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Journal of Animal Science Abstract - Animal Growth, Physiology, and Reproduction

Regulation of bovine pyruvate carboxylase mRNA and promoter expression by thermal stress1


This article in JAS

  1. Vol. 90 No. 9, p. 2979-2987
    Received: Aug 6, 2010
    Accepted: Mar 19, 2012
    Published: January 20, 2015

    3 Corresponding author(s):

  1. H. M. White22,
  2. S. L. Koser and
  3. S. S. Donkin 3
  1. Department of Animal Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907


Pyruvate carboxylase (PC) catalyzes the rate-limiting step in gluconeogenesis from lactate and is a determinant of tricarboxylic acid cycle carbon flux. Bovine PC 5′ untranslated region (UTR) mRNA variants are the products of a single PC gene containing 3 promoter regions (P3, P2, and P1, 5´ to 3´) that are responsive to physiological and nutritional stressors. The objective of this study was to determine the direct effects of thermal stress on PC mRNA and gene expression in bovine hepatocyte monolayer cultures, rat hepatoma (H4IIE) cells, and Madin-Darby bovine kidney epithelial (MDBK) cells. Hepatocytes were isolated from 3 Holstein bull calves and used to prepare monolayer cultures. Rat hepatoma cells and MDBK cells were obtained from American Type Culture Collection, Manassas, VA. Beginning 24 h after initial seeding, cells were subjected to either 37°C (control) or 42°C (thermal stress) for 24 h. Treatments were applied in triplicate in a minimum of 3 independent cell preparations. For bovine primary hepatocytes, endogenous expression of bovine PC mRNA increased (P < 0.1) with 24 h of thermal stress (1.31 vs. 2.79 ± 0.49, arbitrary units, control vs. thermal stress, respectively), but there was no change (P ≥ 0.1) in cytosolic phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK-C) mRNA expression. Similarly, exposure of MDBK cells to thermal stress increased (P < 0.1) expression of bovine PC mRNA without altering (P ≥ 0.1) PEPCK-C mRNA expression. Conversely, there was no effect (P ≥ 0.1) of thermal stress on endogenous rat PC (0.47 vs. 0.30 ± 0.08, control vs. thermal stress) or PEPCK-C (1.61 vs. 1.20 ± 0.48, arbitrary units, control vs. thermal stress, respectively) mRNA expressions in H4IIE cells. To further investigate the regulation of PC, H4IIE cells were transiently transfected with bovine promoter-luciferase constructs containing either P1, P2, or P3, and exposed to thermal stress for 23 h. Activity of P1 was suppressed (P < 0.1) 5-fold, activity of P2 was unchanged (P ≥ 0.1), and activity of P3 was increased (P < 0.1) by 5.4-fold. These data indicate that response of bovine PC gene to thermal stress is through promoter regulation and suggest that there are unique characteristics of bovine PC promoters that may contribute to the physiological response to thermal stress.

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