The Expression Characterization of Chicken Uncoupling Protein Gene

  • Zhao, Jian-Guo (College of Animal Science and Technology, Northeast Agricultural University) ;
  • Li, Hui (College of Animal Science and Technology, Northeast Agricultural University) ;
  • Wang, Yu-Xiang (College of Animal Science and Technology, Northeast Agricultural University) ;
  • Meng, He (College of Animal Science and Technology, Northeast Agricultural University)
  • Received : 2004.12.16
  • Accepted : 2005.05.27
  • Published : 2005.11.01


The UCPs are members of the mitochondrial inner membrane transporter family, present in the mitochondrial inner membrane. Their main function is increasing the energy expenditure via diminishing the resulting production of ATP from mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation instead of yielding dissipative heat. They are associated with the metabolism of fat and regulation of energy expenditure. The UCP gene can be viewed as the candidate gene for chicken fatness. In the present study, RT-PCR and Northern Blot methods were developed to investigate the expression of the UCP gene in ten tissues including heart, liver, spleen, lung, kidney, gizzard, intestine, brain, breast muscle and abdominal fat of chicken. The results of both RT-PCR and Northern Blot methods showed that the UCP gene expressed specific in breast muscle. The expression levels of UCP gene in breast muscles from egg-type and meat-type chickens of hatching, 2, 4, 6 and 8 wk of age were detected by RT-PCR assay and results showed that the expression levels of UCP gene were related to breeds. Expression level of UCP gene in layers was higher than that in broilers at various weeks of age except at 6 wk. The UCP gene's expression was higher at 6 wk and had no significant difference among other weeks of age in broilers; in layers the expression level of UCP gene had no significant difference among weeks of age. The experiment results also showed that insulin could increase the expression level of UCP gene by 40% compared with control group.


Supported by : National Natural Science Foundation of China


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