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Journal of Animal Science Abstract - Animal Genetics

Study of bovine Mef2B gene: the temporal-spatial expression patterns, polymorphism and association analysis with meat production traits12


This article in JAS

  1. Vol. 94 No. 11, p. 4536-4548
    Received: June 22, 2016
    Accepted: Aug 31, 2016
    Published: October 27, 2016

    3 Corresponding author(s):

  1. E. Juszczuk-Kubiak 3*,
  2. K. Bujko*,
  3. M. Grześ*,
  4. M. Cymer*,
  5. K. Wicińska*,
  6. A. Szostak and
  7. M. Pierzchała
  1. * Department of Molecular Biology, Laboratory of Genome and Transcriptome Sequencing, Institute of Genetics and Animal Breeding of the Polish Academy of Science, Jastrzębiec, Poland
     Department of Genomics, Institute of Genetics and Animal Breeding of the Polish Academy of Science, Jastrzębiec, Poland


The Mef2B gene (myocyte enhancer factor 2B) encodes a transcription factor belonging to the MEF2 family that plays an important role in myogenesis by transcriptional regulation of genes involved in skeletal muscle growth and development. Despite the established importance of the Mef2 factors in the muscular growth and development, the temporal-spatial expression and biological function of Mef2B have not been reported in cattle. The aim of this study was to analyze the level of Mef2B expression in the developing longissimus dorsi muscle (LM) of 4 cattle breeds (Polish Holstein-Friesian [HF], Limousine [LIM], Hereford [HER], Polish Red [PR]), differing in terms of meat production and utility type, at 6, 9, and 12 mo of age. The Mef2B genetic polymorphism and expression patterns in 6 tissues (heart, spleen, liver, semitendinosus muscle [ST], gluteus medius muscle [GM], and LM) were also investigated. The results showed that Mef2B mRNA was expressed at a high level in adult skeletal and cardiac muscles. Moreover, Mef2B expression was markedly greater in the GM than in the LM (P < 0.05) and ST (P < 0.01). An age-dependent and breed-specific comparison of Mef2B mRNA level in skeletal muscle of HF, LIM, HER, and PR bulls showed that age was significant differentiating factor of Mef2B transcript/protein abundance in the LM of HER and LIM (P < 0.001) compared to HF and PR, for which the differences in Mef2B mRNA level were not significant (P > 0.05). Regarding the breed effect on the Mef2B expression, significantly greater Mef2B mRNA/protein level was noticed in the LM of 9 and 12 mo-old HER than of LIM (P < 0.01), HF (P < 0.001), and PR (P < 0.001). Four novel SNP, namely, HQ591462:g.909A > G (promoter), JX065116:g.3867T > C (exon 7), JX065116:g.4359G > C (exon 8), and JX065116:g.4546G > A (3’UTR), were identified. We found that Mef2B 3’UTR variant, situated within the seed region of the miR-5187–3p and miR-6931–5p binding sites, was associated with the level of Mef2B mRNA/protein in LM of 12-mo-old HF bulls. In addition, we observed a significant association between some carcass quality traits, including meat and carcass fatness quality traits, and various Mef2B 3’UTR genotypes in the investigated population of HF cattle. Our finding provides new evidence of the Mef2B significant role in the postnatal muscle growth and development in cattle, and indicates that Mef2B can be a promising molecular marker for carcass quality-related traits in adult cattle.

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