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Association of polymorphisms in the bovine FASN gene with milk-fat content

Roy, R., Ordovas, L., Zaragoza, P., Romero, A., Moreno, C., Altarriba, J., Rodellar, C.
Animal genetics 2006 v.37 no.3 pp. 215-218
dairy cattle, genes, genetic polymorphism, milk fat percentage, fatty-acid synthase, chromosome mapping, quantitative trait loci, cattle breeds, sequence analysis, single nucleotide polymorphism, exons, transcription factors, binding sites, threonine, alanine, breeding value, linkage disequilibrium
Fatty acid synthase (FASN) is a multifunctional protein that carries out the synthesis of fatty acids so it plays a central role in de novo lipogenesis in mammals. Previously, we defined the genetic structure and expression of the bovine FASN gene. Our mapping studies placed FASN on BTA19 (19q22) where several quantitative trait loci (QTL) affecting milk-fat content and related traits have been described. This study was conducted to identify polymorphisms in the bovine FASN gene and to study their association with milk-fat content. The bovine FASN gene was screened for polymorphisms in two cattle breeds. Sequence analysis revealed several single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), and two of them were analysed: a G>C substitution in the untranslated exon 1 (g.763G>C), altering a potential Sp1 transcription factor-binding site, and an A>G substitution in exon 34 (g.16009A>G), which determines a non-conservative substitution of threonine by alanine. Allele-specific amplification of the SNPs in FASN revealed significant frequency differences for both polymorphisms in Holsteins with high and low breeding values for milk-fat content. The intragenic haplotypes comprising exon 1 (alleles G and C) and exon 34 (alleles A and G) polymorphisms were studied, and the existence of linkage disequilibrium between these SNPs was found (DCG = 0.048, P < 0.001). Our results suggest that the FASN gene polymorphisms contribute to variation in milk-fat content. We propose that the bovine FASN gene is a candidate gene for a milk-fat content QTL.