Transcriptional analysis of intramuscular fatty acid composition in the longissimus thoracis muscle of Iberian × Landrace back-crossed pigs

R. N. Pena, J. L. Noguera, J. Casellas, I. Díaz, A. I. Fernández, J. M. Folch, N. Ibáñez-Escriche

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18 Citations (Scopus)


This study aimed at identifying differential gene expression conditional on the fatty acid profile of the longissimus thoracis (Lt) muscle, a prime cut of economic relevance for fresh and cured pork production. A population of 110 Iberian (25%) × Landrace (75%) back-crossed pigs was used, because these two breeds exhibit extreme profiles of intramuscular saturated fatty acid, monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) and polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) contents. Total RNA from Lt muscle was individually hybridized to GeneChip Porcine Genome arrays (Affymetrix). A principal component analysis was performed with data from the 110 animals to select 40 extreme animals based on the total fatty acid profile and the MUFA composition (MAP). Comparison of global transcription levels between extreme fatty acid profile pigs (n = 40) resulted in 219 differentially expressed probes (false discovery rate <0.10). Gene ontology, pathway and network analysis indicated that animals with higher percentages of PUFA exhibit a shift toward a more oxidative muscular metabolism state, with a raise in mitochondria function (PPARGC1A, ATF2), fatty acid uptake and oxidation (FABP5, MGLL). On the other hand, 87 probes were differentially expressed between MUFA composition groups (n = 40; false discovery rate <0.10). In particular, muscles rich in n-7 MUFA expressed higher levels of genes involved in lipid metabolism (GLUL, CRAT, PLA2G15) and lower levels of fatty acid elongation genes (ELOVL5). Moreover, the chromosomal position of FABP5, PAQR3, MGLL, PPARGC1A, GLUL and ELOVL5 co-localized with very relevant QTL for fat deposition and composition described in the same resource population. This study represents a complementary approach to identifying genes underlying these QTL effects. © 2013 The Authors, Animal Genetics © 2013 Stichting International Foundation for Animal Genetics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)648-660
JournalAnimal Genetics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2013


  • fatty acid profile
  • gene expression
  • microarray
  • muscle
  • porcine


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