Co-Expression Networks Reveal Potential Regulatory Roles of miRNAs in Fatty Acid Composition of Nelore Cattle

de Oliveira, Priscila
Coutinho, Luiz
Reecy, James
Cesar, Aline
da Silva Diniz, Wellison
de Souza, Marcela
Andrade, Bruno
Koltes, James
Mourão, Gerson
Zerlotini, Adhemar
Reecy, James
Regitano, Luciana
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Animal Science
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Animal Science

Fatty acid (FA) content affects the sensorial and nutritional value of meat and plays a significant role in biological processes such as adipogenesis and immune response. It is well known that, in beef, the main FAs associated with these biological processes are oleic acid (C18:1 cis9, OA) and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA-c9t11), which may have beneficial effects on metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and obesity. Here, we performed differential expression and co-expression analyses, weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA) and partial correlation with information theory (PCIT), to uncover the complex interactions between miRNAs and mRNAs expressed in skeletal muscle associated with FA content. miRNA and mRNA expression data were obtained from skeletal muscle of Nelore cattle that had extreme genomic breeding values for OA and CLA. Insulin and MAPK signaling pathways were identified by WGCNA as central pathways associated with both of these fatty acids. Co-expression network analysis identified bta-miR-33a/b, bta-miR-100, bta-miR-204, bta-miR-365-5p, bta-miR-660, bta-miR-411a, bta-miR-136, bta-miR-30-5p, bta-miR-146b, bta-let-7a-5p, bta-let-7f, bta-let-7, bta-miR 339, bta-miR-10b, bta-miR 486, and the genes ACTA1 and ALDOA as potential regulators of fatty acid synthesis. This study provides evidence and insights into the molecular mechanisms and potential target genes involved in fatty acid content differences in Nelore beef cattle, revealing new candidate pathways of phenotype modulation that could positively benefit beef production and human consumption.


This article is published as De Oliveira, Priscila SN, Luiz Lehmann Coutinho, Aline Silva Mello Cesar, Wellison Jarles Da Silva Diniz, Marcela Maria De Souza, Bruno Gabriel Nascimento Andrade, James E. Koltes et al. "Co-expression networks reveals potential regulatory roles of miRNAs in fatty acids composition of Nelore cattle." Frontiers in Genetics 10 (2019): 651. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2019.00651.