Main content area

Indels within promoter and intron 1 of bovine prion protein gene modulate the gene expression levels in the medulla oblongata of two Japanese cattle breeds

Msalya, G., Shimogiri, T., Nishitani, K., Okamoto, S., Kawabe, K., Minesawa, M., Maeda, Y.
Animal genetics 2010 v.41 no.2 pp. 218-221
DNA, Wagyu, bovine spongiform encephalopathy, cattle, gene expression, genes, genetic variation, genotype, goats, humans, introns, medulla oblongata, messenger RNA, mice, open reading frames, prions, promoter regions, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, sheep, transgenic animals
Genetic differences which exist in the prion protein gene (PRNP) have been reported to influence susceptibility of humans, sheep and goats to prion diseases. In cattle, however, none of the known coding polymorphisms has a direct effect on bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). It has been reported that 23-bp insertion/deletion (indel) polymorphisms within the promoter region have a tentative association to BSE susceptibility in German cattle, and a lower number of 24-bp repeat units in the open reading frame (ORF) was reported to reduce BSE susceptibility in transgenic mice. In this study, because of the hypothesis that bovine PRNP promoter polymorphisms cause changes in PRNP expression, we genotyped PRNP polymorphisms in the promoter and intron 1 using 218 genomic DNA samples from two Japanese cattle breeds. We also analysed the expression levels of prion in 40 animals by quantification of real-time PCR using mRNAs extracted from the medulla oblongata to study the relationship between PRNP genotypes and PRNP expression. We found a significant correlation between promoter indel polymorphisms and PRNP-mRNA expression (P₀.₀₄₁₃) and therefore hypothesize that differences in polymorphisms could be one of the causes of differences in PRNP expression levels. We also report a novel difference in PRNP expression (P < 0.0001) between Japanese Black and Japanese Brown cattle breeds. There was no significant difference based on age and sex of the animals.