Identification of Histone Deacetylase 2 as a Functional Gene for Skeletal Muscle Development in Chickens

  • Shahjahan, Md. (Institute of Animal Sciences, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences) ;
  • Liu, Ranran (State Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition) ;
  • Zhao, Guiping (State Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition) ;
  • Wang, Fangjie (Institute of Animal Sciences, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences) ;
  • Zheng, Maiqing (State Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition) ;
  • Zhang, Jingjing (State Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition) ;
  • Song, Jiao (State Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition) ;
  • Wen, Jie (State Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition)
  • Received : 2015.03.21
  • Accepted : 2015.08.05
  • Published : 2016.04.01


A previous genome-wide association study (GWAS) exposed histone deacetylase 2 (HDAC2) as a possible candidate gene for breast muscle weight in chickens. The present research has examined the possible role of HDAC2 in skeletal muscle development in chickens. Gene expression was measured by quantitative polymerase chain reaction in breast and thigh muscles during both embryonic (four ages) and post-hatch (five ages) development and in cultures of primary myoblasts during both proliferation and differentiation. The expression of HDAC2 increased significantly across embryonic days (ED) in breast (ED 14, 16, 18, and 21) and thigh (ED 14 and 18, and ED 14 and 21) muscles suggesting that it possibly plays a role in myoblast hyperplasia in both breast and thigh muscles. Transcript abundance of HDAC2 identified significantly higher in fast growing muscle than slow growing in chickens at d 90 of age. Expression of HDAC2 during myoblast proliferation in vitro declined between 24 h and 48 h when expression of the marker gene paired box 7 (PAX7) increased and cell numbers increased throughout 72 h of culture. During induced differentiation of myoblasts to myotubes, the abundance of HDAC2 and the marker gene myogenic differentiation 1 (MYOD1), both increased significantly. Taken together, it is suggested that HDAC2 is most likely involved in a suppressive fashion in myoblast proliferation and may play a positive role in myoblast differentiation. The present results confirm the suggestion that HDAC2 is a functional gene for pre-hatch and post-hatch (fast growing muscle) development of chicken skeletal muscle.


Supported by : National Natural Science Foundation of China


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