Expression Analysis of Galectin-1 from Fat in Berkshire Pigs

  • Jung, Won Yong (Department of Animal Resources Technology, Jinju National University) ;
  • Cho, Eun Seok (Department of Animal Resources Technology, Jinju National University) ;
  • Kwon, Eun Jung (Department of Animal Resources Technology, Jinju National University) ;
  • Park, Da Hye (Department of Animal Resources Technology, Jinju National University) ;
  • Chung, Ki Hwa (Department of Animal Resources Technology, Jinju National University) ;
  • Kim, Chul Wook (Department of Animal Resources Technology, Jinju National University)
  • Received : 2007.05.15
  • Accepted : 2007.07.23
  • Published : 2008.02.01


Galectins are a group of animal lectins consisting of galectin-type carbohydrate recognition domains (CRD) with relatively minor domains. The biological properties of galectins include the regulation of inflammation, intercellular adhesion, cell differentiation and cell death. The diverse kinds of galectin suggest variety in their biological roles. Galectin-1 is released during adipocyte differentiation and is associated with fat which is one of the important factors for meat quality. To verify expression level, a 0.5 kb clone of galectin-1 was obtained from cDNA prepared from back fat tissue of a Sancheong Berkshire pig with good quality meat, and the galectin-1 gene identified. The deduced amino acid sequence of the galectin-1 gene was compared with those obtained from other species. By using RT-PCR and Real time-PCR, an attempt was made to determine the expression level of galectin-1 and to compare with various tissues (tenderloin and back fat) taken from pigs in different groups. Grouping of pigs was based on growth-stage (weighing 60, 80, and 110 kg) and the sub-speciation (Yorkshire and Sancheong Berkshire pigs). We attempted to determine influences of pig species, growth stages and tissue variations on the expression level of the galectin-l gene and it was revealed that the expression pattern of the galectin-1 gene was significantly different (p<0.01 or p<0.05). Galectin-1 genes were expressed more highly in the back fat tissues of pigs weighing 110 kg than in those weighing 60 kg or 80 kg. However, the lowest expression was seen in the tenderloin tissues of pigs weighing 110 kg. Sancheong Berkshire pigs showed higher expression of the galectin-1 gene compared to Yorkshire pigs. Accordingly, it is considered that the expression pattern of the galectin-1 gene influences the growth of back fat tissues and the pig speciation relationship. Previous studies suggested that different expression of galectin-1 genes represents variety among the breeds and is closely related to fat tissue growth, conjugation and catabolism. Further, this study suggests that the expression of galectin-1 at a specific growth stage and tissue contributes significantly to the overall meat quality of Sancheong Berkshire pigs.


Galectin-1;Back Fat;Sancheong Berkshire;RT-PCR;Meat Quality


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