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Differentiation of expression profiles of two calcineurin subunit genes in chicken skeletal muscles during early postnatal growth depending on anatomical location of muscles and breed

SHAN, Yan-ju, XU, Wen-juan, SHU, Jing-ting, ZHANG, Ming, SONG, Wei-tao, TAO, Zhi-yun, ZHU, Chun-hong, LI, Hui-fang
Journal of integrative agriculture 2016 v.15 no.5 pp. 1085-1094
chicken breeds, chickens, gene expression, genes, hypertrophy, meat quality, muscle fibers, muscles, partridges, phenotype, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, skeletal muscle
Calcineurin (Cn or CaN) is implicated in the control of skeletal muscle fiber phenotype and hypertrophy. However, little information is available concerning the expression of Cn in chickens. In the present study, the expression of two Cn subunit genes (CnAα and CnB1) was quantified by qPCR in the lateral gastrocnemius (LG, mainly composing of red fast-twitch myofibers), the soleus (mainly composing of red slow-twitch myofibers) and the extensor digitorum longus (EDL, mainly composing of white fast-twitch myofibers) from Qingyuan partridge chickens (QY, slow-growing chicken breed) and Recessive White chickens (RW, fast-growing chicken breed) on different days (1, 8, 22, 36, 50 and 64 days post-hatching). Although CnAα and CnB1 gene expressions were variable with different trends in different skeletal muscles in the two chicken breeds during postnatal growth, it is highly muscle phenotype and breed specific. In general, the levels of CnAα and CnB1 gene expressions of the soleus were lower than those of EDL and LG in both chicken breeds at the same stages. Compared between the two chicken breeds, the levels of CnAα gene expression of the three skeletal muscles in QY chickens were higher than those in RW chickens on days 1 and 22. However, on day 64, the levels of both CnAα and CnB1 gene expressions of the three skeletal muscles were lower in QY chickens than those in RW chickens. Correlation analysis of the levels of CnAα and CnB1 gene expressions of the same skeletal muscle showed that there were positive correlations for all three skeletal muscle tissues in two chicken breeds. These results provide some valuable clues to understand the role of Cn in the development of chicken skeletal muscles, with a function that may be related to meat quality.