Molecular Cloning, Characterization, and Expression Analysis of Chicken Δ-6 Desaturase

  • Kang, Xiangtao ;
  • Bai, Yichun ;
  • Sun, Guirong ;
  • Huang, Yanqun ;
  • Chen, Qixin ;
  • Han, Ruili ;
  • Li, Guoxi ;
  • Li, Fadi
  • Received : 2009.01.04
  • Accepted : 2009.05.17
  • Published : 2010.01.01


Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA) promote the development of brain and vision of the fetus, relieve inflammation, inhibit oral dysplasia of rumor cell, decrease the incidence of cardiovascular disease and regulate arrhythmia. ${\Delta}-6$ desaturase is the rate-limited enzyme in the desaturation process. This study reports the cloning, characterization and tissue expression of a ${\Delta}-6$ desaturase gene in the chicken. PCR primers were designed based on the predicted sequence of chicken ${\Delta}-6$ desaturase (accession number: XM421053) and used to isolate a cDNA fragment of 1,323 bp from chicken liver. Based on the 1,323 bp fragment an EST (BI390105) was obtained by BLAST. The EST and 5'nd of the 1,323 bp fragment were partially overlapped. Gene specific primers derived from the EST were used for amplification of the 5'nd. Another gene-specific primer derived from the 1,323 bp fragment was used for amplification of the 3'nd by 3'ACE. Then the three overlapping cDNA sequences obtained were assembled with DNAMAN software and a full-length ${\Delta}-6$ desaturase of 2,153 bp was obtained. The full-length cDNA contained an ORF of 1,335 bp with a 5'ntranslated region of 147 nucleotides followed by an ATG initiation codon. Stop codon TGA was at position 1,481-1,483 bp. The deduced amino acids shared an homology above 77% with bovine, mice, orangutan, rat and human. The protein sequence had three histidine-rich regions HDFGH (HisI region), HFQHH (HisII region) and HH (HisIII region), a cytochrome $b_{5}$-like domain containing a heme-binding motif and two transmembrane domains. Sequence analysis of the chicken genomic DNA revealed that the coding sequence of chicken ${\Delta}-6$ desaturase included 12 exons and 11 introns. Semi-quantitative RT-PCR showed that the ${\Delta}-6$ desaturase expression levels were in turn liver, spleen, pancreas, lung, breast muscle, heart, and abdominal fat. The expression of ${\Delta}-6$ desaturase in liver was significantly higher than that in breast muscle (p<0.01). The expression of ${\Delta}-6$ desaturase in lung was significantly higher than that in abdominal fat (p<0.01). This is the first clone of chicken ${\Delta}-6$ desaturase.




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