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Pig has no uncoupling protein 1

Hou, Lianjie, Shi, Jia, Cao, Lingbo, Xu, Guli, Hu, Chingyuan, Wang, Chong
Biochemical and biophysical research communications 2017 v.487 pp. 795-800
adipocytes, rabbits, messenger RNA, protein synthesis, translation (genetics), antibody formation, antigens, cold zones, antibodies, complementary DNA, rapid amplification of cDNA ends, transcription (genetics), mice, swine, exons, heat production, brown adipose tissue, Escherichia coli
Brown adipose tissue (BAT) is critical for mammal's survival in the cold environment. Uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) is responsible for the non-shivering thermogenesis in the BAT. Pig is important economically as a meat-producing livestock. However, whether BAT or more precisely UCP1 protein exists in pig remains a controversy. The objective of this study was to ascertain whether pig has UCP1 protein. In this study, we used rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) technique to obtain the UCP1 mRNA 3′ end sequence, confirmed only exons 1 and 2 of the UCP1 gene are transcribed in the pig. Then we cloned the pig UCP1 gene exons 1 and 2, and expressed the UCP1 protein from the truncated pig gene using E. coli BL21. We used the expressed pig UCP1 protein as antigen for antibody production in a rabbit. We could not detect any UCP1 protein expression in different pig adipose tissues by the specific pig UCP1 antibody, while our antibody can detect the cloned pig UCP1 as well as the mice adipose UCP1 protein. This result shows although exons 1 and 2 of the pig UCP1 gene were transcribed but not translated in the pig adipose tissue. Furthermore, we detected no uncoupled respiration in the isolated pig adipocytes. Thus, these results unequivocally demonstrate that pig has no UCP1 protein. Our results have resolved the controversy of whether pigs have the brown adipose tissue.