This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, reproduction and adaptation in any medium and for any purpose provided that it is properly attributed. For attribution, the original author(s), title, publication source (PeerJ Preprints) and either DOI or URL of the article must be cited.
Background. Intramuscular fat (IMF) is an important economic trait for pork quality and a complex quantitative trait regulated by multiple genes. The objective of this work was to investigate the novel transcriptional effects of a multigene pathways on IMF deposition in the longissimus dorsi(LD) muscles of pigs.
Methods. Potential signaling pathways were screened by mining data from three gene expression profiles in the GEO database. We designed quantitative real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) arrays for the candidate signaling pathways to verify the results in the LD muscles of three pig breeds with different IMF contents(Large White, Berkshire and Min).
Results. The AMPK signaling pathway was screened via bioinformatic analysis. Ten key hub genes of this signaling pathway(AMPK, ADIPOR1, ADIPOR2, LKB1, CAMKKβ, CPT1A, CPT1B, PGC-1α, CD36 and ACC1) were differentially expressed. Statistical analyses revealed that AMPK pathway activity clearly varied among the three pig breeds.
Conclusion. Based on these results, we concluded that the activation of the AMPK signaling pathway plays a positive role in reducing IMF deposition in pigs.