Characterization of Gene Expression in Double-Muscled and Normal-Muscled Bovine Embryos
Is Version Of
Myostatin, a member of the transforming growth factor-beta superfamily, is a negative regulator of skeletal muscle growth. Cattle with mutations that inactivate myostatin exhibit a remarkable increase in mass of skeletal muscle called double muscling that is accompanied by an equally remarkable decrease in carcass fat. Although a mouse knockout model has been created which results in mice with a 200% increase in skeletal muscle mass, molecular mechanisms whereby myostatin regulates skeletal muscle and fat mass are not fully understood. Using suppressive subtractive hybridization, genes that were differentially expressed in double-muscled vs. normal-muscled cattle embryos were identified. Genetic variation at other loci was minimized by using embryonic samples collected from related Piedmontese x Angus dams or Belgian Blue x Hereford dams bred to a single sire of the same breed composition. Embryos were collected at 31-33 days of gestation, which is 2-4 days after high-level expression of myostatin in the developing bovine embryo. The suppressive subtraction resulted in 30 clones that were potentially differentially expressed, 19 of which were confirmed by macroarray analysis. Several of these genes have biological functions that suggest that they are directly involved in myostatin's regulation of skeletal muscle development. Furthermore, several of these genes map to quantitative trait loci known to interact with variation in the myostatin gene.
This article is from Animal Genetics 34 (2003): 438.