Publications by authors named "Ross L Tellam"

31 Publications

Identification of Novel miRNAs Involved in Cardiac Repair Following Infarction in Fetal and Adolescent Sheep Hearts.

Front Physiol 2020 10;11:614. Epub 2020 Jun 10.

Early Origins of Adult Health Research Group, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA, Australia.

Aims: Animal models have been used to show that there are critical molecular mechanisms that can be activated to induce myocardial repair at specific times in development. For example, specific miRNAs are critical for regulating the response to myocardial infarction (MI) and improving the response to injury. Manipulating these miRNAs in small animal models provides beneficial effects post-MI; however it is not known if these miRNAs are regulated similarly in large mammals. Studying a large animal where the timing of heart development in relation to birth is similar to humans may provide insights to better understand the capacity to repair a developing mammalian heart and its application to the adult heart.

Methods: We used a sheep model of MI that included permanent ligation of the left anterior descending (LAD) coronary artery. Surgery was performed on fetuses (at 105 days gestation when all cardiomyocytes are mononucleated and proliferative) and adolescent sheep (at 6 months of age when all cardiomyocytes contribute to heart growth by hypertrophy). A microarray was utilized to determine the expression of known miRNAs within the damaged and undamaged tissue regions in fetal and adolescent hearts after MI.

Results: 73 miRNAs were up-regulated and 58 miRNAs were down-regulated significantly within the fetal infarct compared to remote cardiac samples. From adolescent hearts 69 non-redundant miRNAs were up-regulated and 63 miRNAs were down-regulated significantly in the infarct area compared to remote samples. Opposite differential expression profiles of 10 miRNAs within tissue regions (Infarct area, Border zone and Remote area of the left ventricle) occurred between the fetuses and adolescent sheep. These included miR-558 and miR-1538, which when suppressed using LNA anti-miRNAs in cell culture, increased cardiomyoblast proliferation.

Conclusion: There were significant differences in miRNA responses in fetal and adolescent sheep hearts following a MI, suggesting that the modulation of novel miRNA expression may have therapeutic potential, by promoting proliferation or repair in a damaged heart.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2020.00614DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7298149PMC
June 2020

Differential gene responses 3 days following infarction in the fetal and adolescent sheep heart.

Physiol Genomics 2020 03 21;52(3):143-159. Epub 2020 Jan 21.

Early Origins of Adult Health Research Group, School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia.

There are critical molecular mechanisms that can be activated to induce myocardial repair, and in humans this is most efficient during fetal development. The timing of heart development in relation to birth and the size/electrophysiology of the heart are similar in humans and sheep, providing a model to investigate the repair capacity of the mammalian heart and how this can be applied to adult heart repair. Myocardial infarction was induced by ligation of the left anterior descending coronary artery in fetal (105 days gestation when cardiomyocytes are proliferative) and adolescent sheep (6 mo of age when all cardiomyocytes have switched to an adult phenotype). An ovine gene microarray was used to compare gene expression in sham and infarcted (remote, border and infarct areas) cardiac tissue from fetal and adolescent hearts. The gene response to myocardial infarction was less pronounced in fetal compared with adolescent sheep hearts and there were unique gene responses at each age. There were also region-specific changes in gene expression between each age, in the infarct tissue, tissue bordering the infarct, and tissue remote from the infarction. In total, there were 880 genes that responded to MI uniquely in the adolescent samples compared with 170 genes in the fetal response, as well as 742 overlap genes that showed concordant direction of change responses to infarction at both ages. In response to myocardial infarction, there were specific changes in genes within pathways of mitochondrial oxidation, muscle contraction, and hematopoietic cell lineages, suggesting that the control of energy utilization and immune function are critical for effective heart repair. The more restricted gene response in the fetus may be an important factor in its enhanced capacity for cardiac repair.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/physiolgenomics.00092.2019DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7099410PMC
March 2020

Differential Response to Injury in Fetal and Adolescent Sheep Hearts in the Immediate Post-myocardial Infarction Period.

Front Physiol 2019 5;10:208. Epub 2019 Mar 5.

Early Origins of Adult Health Research Group, School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA, Australia.

Characterizing the response to myocardial infarction (MI) in the regenerative sheep fetus heart compared to the post-natal non-regenerative adolescent heart may reveal key morphological and molecular differences that equate to the response to MI in humans. We hypothesized that the immediate response to injury in (a) infarct compared with sham, and (b) infarct, border, and remote tissue, in the fetal sheep heart would be fundamentally different to the adolescent, allowing for repair after damage. We used a sheep model of MI induced by ligating the left anterior descending coronary artery. Surgery was performed on fetuses (105 days) and adolescent sheep (6 months). Sheep were randomly separated into MI ( = 5) or Sham ( = 5) surgery groups at both ages. We used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), histological/immunohistochemical staining, and qRT-PCR to assess the morphological and molecular differences between the different age groups in response to infarction. Magnetic resonance imaging showed no difference in fetuses for key functional parameters; however there was a significant decrease in left ventricular ejection fraction and cardiac output in the adolescent sheep heart at 3 days post-infarction. There was no significant difference in functional parameters between MRI sessions at Day 0 and Day 3 after surgery. Expression of genes involved in glucose transport and fatty acid metabolism, inflammatory cytokines as well as growth factors and cell cycle regulators remained largely unchanged in the infarcted compared to sham ventricular tissue in the fetus, but were significantly dysregulated in the adolescent sheep. Different cardiac tissue region-specific gene expression profiles were observed between the fetal and adolescent sheep. Fetuses demonstrated a resistance to cardiac damage not observed in the adolescent animals. The manipulation of specific gene expression profiles to a fetal-like state may provide a therapeutic strategy to treat patients following an infarction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2019.00208DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6412108PMC
March 2019

Improving pregnancy outcomes in humans through studies in sheep.

Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 2018 12 16;315(6):R1123-R1153. Epub 2018 Oct 16.

Early Origins of Adult Health Research Group, School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia.

Experimental studies that are relevant to human pregnancy rely on the selection of appropriate animal models as an important element in experimental design. Consideration of the strengths and weaknesses of any animal model of human disease is fundamental to effective and meaningful translation of preclinical research. Studies in sheep have made significant contributions to our understanding of the normal and abnormal development of the fetus. As a model of human pregnancy, studies in sheep have enabled scientists and clinicians to answer questions about the etiology and treatment of poor maternal, placental, and fetal health and to provide an evidence base for translation of interventions to the clinic. The aim of this review is to highlight the advances in perinatal human medicine that have been achieved following translation of research using the pregnant sheep and fetus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/ajpregu.00391.2017DOI Listing
December 2018

The role of miRNA regulation in fetal cardiomyocytes, cardiac maturation and the risk of heart disease in adults.

J Physiol 2018 12 28;596(23):5625-5640. Epub 2018 Jun 28.

Early Origins of Adult Health Research Group, School of Pharmacy & Medical Sciences, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA 5001, Australia.

Myocardial infarction is a primary contributor towards the global burden of cardiovascular disease. Rather than repairing the existing damage of myocardial infarction, current treatments only address the symptoms of the disease and reducing the risk of a secondary infarction. Cardiac regenerative capacity is dependent on cardiomyocyte proliferation, which concludes soon after birth in humans and precocial species such as sheep. Human fetal cardiac tissue has some ability to repair following tissue damage, whereas a fully matured human heart has minimal capacity for cellular regeneration. This is in contrast to neonatal mice and adult zebrafish hearts, which retain the ability to undergo cardiomyocyte proliferation and can regenerate cardiac tissue after birth. In mice and zebrafish models, microRNAs (miRNAs) have been implicated in the regulation of genes involved in cardiac cell cycle progression and regeneration. However, the significance of miRNA regulation in cardiomyocyte proliferation for humans and other large mammals, where the timing of heart development in relation to birth is similar, remains unclear. miRNAs may be valuable targets for therapies that promote cardiac repair after injury. Therefore, elucidating the role of specific miRNAs in large animals, where heart development closely resembles that of humans, remains vitally important for identifying therapeutic targets that may be translated into clinical practice focused on tissue repair.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1113/JP276072DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6265572PMC
December 2018

Identification of genes directly responding to DLK1 signaling in Callipyge sheep.

BMC Genomics 2018 Apr 24;19(1):283. Epub 2018 Apr 24.

Department of Animal Sciences, Purdue University, 270 South Russell Street, West Lafayette, IN, 47907, USA.

Background: In food animal agriculture, there is a need to identify the mechanisms that can improve the efficiency of muscle growth and protein accretion. Callipyge sheep provide excellent machinery since the up-regulation of DLK1 and RTL1 results in extreme postnatal muscle hypertrophy in distinct muscles. The aim of this study is to distinguish the genes that directly respond to DLK1 and RTL1 signaling from the genes that change as the result of muscle specific effects.

Results: The quantitative PCR results indicated that DLK1 expression was significantly increased in hypertrophied muscles but not in non-hypertrophied muscles. However, RTL1 was up-regulated in both hypertrophied and non-hypertrophied muscles. Five genes, including PARK7, DNTTIP1, SLC22A3, METTL21E and PDE4D, were consistently co-expressed with DLK1, and therefore were possible transcriptional target genes responding to DLK1 signaling. Treatment of myoblast and myotubes with DLK1 protein induced an average of 1.6-fold and 1.4-fold increase in Dnttip1 and Pde4d expression respectively. Myh4 expression was significantly elevated in DLK1-treated myotubes, whereas the expression of Mettl21e was significantly increased in the DLK1-treated myoblasts but reduced in DLK1-treated myotubes. DLK1 treatment had no impact on Park7 expression. In addition, Park7 and Dnttip1 increased Myh4 and decreased Myh7 promoter activity, resemble to the effects of Dlk1. In contrast, expression of Mettl21e increased Myh7 and decreased Myh4 luciferase activity.

Conclusion: The study provided additional supports that RTL1 alone was insufficient to induce muscle hypertrophy and concluded that DLK1 was likely the primary effector of the hypertrophy phenotype. The results also suggested that DNTTIP1 and PDE4D were secondary effector genes responding to DLK1 signaling resulting in muscle fiber switch and muscular hypertrophy in callipyge lamb.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12864-018-4682-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5937834PMC
April 2018

Mammalian genomic regulatory regions predicted by utilizing human genomics, transcriptomics, and epigenetics data.

Gigascience 2018 03;7(3):1-17

CSIRO Agriculture, 306 Carmody Road, St. Lucia, 4067, QLD, Australia.

Genome sequences for hundreds of mammalian species are available, but an understanding of their genomic regulatory regions, which control gene expression, is only beginning. A comprehensive prediction of potential active regulatory regions is necessary to functionally study the roles of the majority of genomic variants in evolution, domestication, and animal production. We developed a computational method to predict regulatory DNA sequences (promoters, enhancers, and transcription factor binding sites) in production animals (cows and pigs) and extended its broad applicability to other mammals. The method utilizes human regulatory features identified from thousands of tissues, cell lines, and experimental assays to find homologous regions that are conserved in sequences and genome organization and are enriched for regulatory elements in the genome sequences of other mammalian species. Importantly, we developed a filtering strategy, including a machine learning classification method, to utilize a very small number of species-specific experimental datasets available to select for the likely active regulatory regions. The method finds the optimal combination of sensitivity and accuracy to unbiasedly predict regulatory regions in mammalian species. Furthermore, we demonstrated the utility of the predicted regulatory datasets in cattle for prioritizing variants associated with multiple production and climate change adaptation traits and identifying potential genome editing targets.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/gigascience/gix136DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5838836PMC
March 2018

Adverse Intrauterine Environment and Cardiac miRNA Expression.

Int J Mol Sci 2017 Dec 6;18(12). Epub 2017 Dec 6.

Early Origins of Adult Health Research Group; School of Pharmacy & Medical Sciences, Sansom Institute for Health Research, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA 5001, Australia.

Placental insufficiency, high altitude pregnancies, maternal obesity/diabetes, maternal undernutrition and stress can result in a poor setting for growth of the developing fetus. These adverse intrauterine environments result in physiological changes to the developing heart that impact how the heart will function in postnatal life. The intrauterine environment plays a key role in the complex interplay between genes and the epigenetic mechanisms that regulate their expression. In this review we describe how an adverse intrauterine environment can influence the expression of miRNAs (a sub-set of non-coding RNAs) and how these changes may impact heart development. Potential consequences of altered miRNA expression in the fetal heart include; Hypoxia inducible factor (HIF) activation, dysregulation of angiogenesis, mitochondrial abnormalities and altered glucose and fatty acid transport/metabolism. It is important to understand how miRNAs are altered in these adverse environments to identify key pathways that can be targeted using miRNA mimics or inhibitors to condition an improved developmental response.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms18122628DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5751231PMC
December 2017

Gene expression allelic imbalance in ovine brown adipose tissue impacts energy homeostasis.

PLoS One 2017 30;12(6):e0180378. Epub 2017 Jun 30.

CSIRO Agriculture, Queensland Biosciences Precinct, St Lucia, QLD, Australia.

Heritable trait variation within a population of organisms is largely governed by DNA variations that impact gene transcription and protein function. Identifying genetic variants that affect complex functional traits is a primary aim of population genetics studies, especially in the context of human disease and agricultural production traits. The identification of alleles directly altering mRNA expression and thereby biological function is challenging due to difficulty in isolating direct effects of cis-acting genetic variations from indirect trans-acting genetic effects. Allele specific gene expression or allelic imbalance in gene expression (AI) occurring at heterozygous loci provides an opportunity to identify genes directly impacted by cis-acting genetic variants as indirect trans-acting effects equally impact the expression of both alleles. However, the identification of genes showing AI in the context of the expression of all genes remains a challenge due to a variety of technical and statistical issues. The current study focuses on the discovery of genes showing AI using single nucleotide polymorphisms as allelic reporters. By developing a computational and statistical process that addressed multiple analytical challenges, we ranked 5,809 genes for evidence of AI using RNA-Seq data derived from brown adipose tissue samples from a cohort of late gestation fetal lambs and then identified a conservative subgroup of 1,293 genes. Thus, AI was extensive, representing approximately 25% of the tested genes. Genes associated with AI were enriched for multiple Gene Ontology (GO) terms relating to lipid metabolism, mitochondrial function and the extracellular matrix. These functions suggest that cis-acting genetic variations causing AI in the population are preferentially impacting genes involved in energy homeostasis and tissue remodelling. These functions may contribute to production traits likely to be under genetic selection in the population.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0180378PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5493397PMC
October 2017

The primary reasons behind data sharing, its wider benefits and how to cope with the realities of commercial data.

BMC Genomics 2015 Sep 7;16:626. Epub 2015 Sep 7.

BioMed Central, London, UK.

Data availability expectations have changed over the years in scientific publishing, nowhere more so than in the field of genomics. This field has spearheaded openness and transparency via public and structured deposition of data. BMC Genomics strongly encourages deposition and unrestricted availability of all primary data underlying research studies both as a way of ensuring reproducibility and standardisation, but also as part of overall community-driven expectation on data deposition and sharing. With funders and publishers moving towards more explicit mandates (regarding data availability), we examined the current barriers to unrestricted availability of data and explored different scenarios in which commercial agreements might run contrary to scientific convention and data sharing policies. In this editorial, Ross Tellam (CSIRO, Australia), Paul Rushton (Texas A&M AgriLife Research) and Peter Schuerman (University of California, Merced), give their views on the importance of data sharing and examine the current challenges in research fields like crop and livestock genomics, where often it is necessary to integrate the interests of academic and commercial stakeholders. We discuss the current approaches, highlight the importance of community-driven standards, and propose ways forward.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12864-015-1789-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4561426PMC
September 2015

Regulation of microRNA during cardiomyocyte maturation in sheep.

BMC Genomics 2015 Jul 22;16:541. Epub 2015 Jul 22.

Early Origins of Adult Health Research Group, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA, Australia.

Background: There is a limited capacity to repair damage in the mammalian heart after birth, which is primarily due to the inability of cardiomyocytes to proliferate after birth. This is in contrast to zebrafish and salamander, in which cardiomyocytes retain the ability to proliferate throughout life and can regenerate their heart after significant damage. Recent studies in zebrafish and rodents implicate microRNA (miRNA) in the regulation of genes responsible for cardiac cell cycle progression and regeneration, in particular, miR-133a, the miR-15 family, miR-199a and miR-590. However, the significance of these miRNA and miRNA in general in the regulation of cardiomyocyte proliferation in large mammals, including humans, where the timing of heart development relative to birth is very different than in rodents, is unclear. To determine the involvement of miRNA in the down-regulation of cardiomyocyte proliferation occurring before birth in large mammals, we investigated miRNA and target gene expression in sheep hearts before and after birth. The experimental approach included targeted transcriptional profiling of miRNA and target mRNA previously identified in rodent studies as well as genome-wide miRNA profiling using microarrays.

Results: The cardiac expression of miR-133a increased and its target gene IGF1R decreased with increasing age, reaching their respective maximum and minimum abundance when the majority of ovine cardiomyocytes were quiescent. The expression of the miR-15 family members was variable with age, however, four of their target genes decreased with age. These latter profiles are inconsistent with the direct involvement of this family of miRNA in cardiomyocyte quiescence in late gestation sheep. The expression patterns of 'pro-proliferative' miR-199a and miR-590 were also inconsistent with their involvement in cardiomyocyte quiescence. Consequently, miRNA microarray analysis was undertaken, which identified six discrete clusters of miRNA with characteristic developmental profiles. The functions of predicted target genes for the miRNA in four of the six clusters were enriched for aspects of cell division and regulation of cell proliferation suggesting a potential role of these miRNA in regulating cardiomyocyte proliferation.

Conclusion: The results of this study show that the expression of miR-133a and one of its target genes is consistent with it being involved in the suppression of cardiomyocyte proliferation, which occurs across the last third of gestation in sheep. The expression patterns of the miR-15 family, miR-199a and miR-590 were inconsistent with direct involvement in the regulation cardiomyocyte proliferation in sheep, despite studies in rodents demonstrating that their manipulation can influence the degree of cardiomyocyte proliferation. miRNA microarray analysis suggests a coordinated and potentially more complex role of multiple miRNA in the regulation of cardiomyocyte quiescence and highlights significant differences between species that may reflect their substantial differences in the timing of this developmental process.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12864-015-1693-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4509559PMC
July 2015

Recent developments on the role of epigenetics in obesity and metabolic disease.

Clin Epigenetics 2015 11;7:66. Epub 2015 Jul 11.

CSIRO Food and Nutrition Flagship, PO Box 52, North Ryde, NSW 1670 Australia.

The increased prevalence of obesity and related comorbidities is a major public health problem. While genetic factors undoubtedly play a role in determining individual susceptibility to weight gain and obesity, the identified genetic variants only explain part of the variation. This has led to growing interest in understanding the potential role of epigenetics as a mediator of gene-environment interactions underlying the development of obesity and its associated comorbidities. Initial evidence in support of a role of epigenetics in obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) was mainly provided by animal studies, which reported epigenetic changes in key metabolically important tissues following high-fat feeding and epigenetic differences between lean and obese animals and by human studies which showed epigenetic changes in obesity and T2DM candidate genes in obese/diabetic individuals. More recently, advances in epigenetic methodologies and the reduced cost of epigenome-wide association studies (EWAS) have led to a rapid expansion of studies in human populations. These studies have also reported epigenetic differences between obese/T2DM adults and healthy controls and epigenetic changes in association with nutritional, weight loss, and exercise interventions. There is also increasing evidence from both human and animal studies that the relationship between perinatal nutritional exposures and later risk of obesity and T2DM may be mediated by epigenetic changes in the offspring. The aim of this review is to summarize the most recent developments in this rapidly moving field, with a particular focus on human EWAS and studies investigating the impact of nutritional and lifestyle factors (both pre- and postnatal) on the epigenome and their relationship to metabolic health outcomes. The difficulties in distinguishing consequence from causality in these studies and the critical role of animal models for testing causal relationships and providing insight into underlying mechanisms are also addressed. In summary, the area of epigenetics and metabolic health has seen rapid developments in a short space of time. While the outcomes to date are promising, studies are ongoing, and the next decade promises to be a time of productive research into the complex interactions between the genome, epigenome, and environment as they relate to metabolic disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13148-015-0101-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4940755PMC
January 2018

mRNA Structural constraints on EBNA1 synthesis impact on in vivo antigen presentation and early priming of CD8+ T cells.

PLoS Pathog 2014 Oct 9;10(10):e1004423. Epub 2014 Oct 9.

QIMR Centre for Immunotherapy and Vaccine Development and Tumour Immunology, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

Recent studies have shown that virally encoded mRNA sequences of genome maintenance proteins from herpesviruses contain clusters of unusual structural elements, G-quadruplexes, which modulate viral protein synthesis. Destabilization of these G-quadruplexes can override the inhibitory effect on self-synthesis of these proteins. Here we show that the purine-rich repetitive mRNA sequence of Epstein-Barr virus encoded nuclear antigen 1 (EBNA1) comprising G-quadruplex structures, limits both the presentation of MHC class I-restricted CD8(+) T cell epitopes by CD11c(+) dendritic cells in draining lymph nodes and early priming of antigen-specific CD8(+) T-cells. Destabilization of the G-quadruplex structures through codon-modification significantly enhanced in vivo antigen presentation and activation of virus-specific T cells. Ex vivo imaging of draining lymph nodes by confocal microscopy revealed enhanced antigen-specific T-cell trafficking and APC-CD8(+) T-cell interactions in mice primed with viral vectors encoding a codon-modified EBNA1 protein. More importantly, these antigen-specific T cells displayed enhanced expression of the T-box transcription factor and superior polyfunctionality consistent with the qualitative impact of translation efficiency. These results provide an important insight into how viruses exploit mRNA structure to down regulate synthesis of their viral maintenance proteins and delay priming of antigen-specific T cells, thereby establishing a successful latent infection in vivo. Furthermore, targeting EBNA1 mRNA rather than protein by small molecules or antisense oligonucleotides will enhance EBNA1 synthesis and the early priming of effector T cells, to establish a more rapid immune response and prevent persistent infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1004423DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4192603PMC
October 2014

Lean mass, muscle strength and gene expression in community dwelling older men: findings from the Hertfordshire Sarcopenia Study (HSS).

Calcif Tissue Int 2014 Oct 24;95(4):308-16. Epub 2014 Jul 24.

MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, Southampton General Hospital, University of Southampton, Tremona Road, Southampton, SO16 6YD, UK,

Sarcopenia is associated with adverse health outcomes. This study investigated whether skeletal muscle gene expression was associated with lean mass and grip strength in community-dwelling older men. Utilising a cross-sectional study design, lean muscle mass and grip strength were measured in 88 men aged 68-76 years. Expression profiles of 44 genes implicated in the cellular regulation of skeletal muscle were determined. Serum was analysed for circulating cytokines TNF (tumour necrosis factor), IL-6 (interleukin 6, IFNG (interferon gamma), IL1R1 (interleukin-1 receptor-1). Relationships between skeletal muscle gene expression, circulating cytokines, lean mass and grip strength were examined. Participant groups with higher and lower values of lean muscle mass (n = 18) and strength (n = 20) were used in the analysis of gene expression fold change. Expression of VDR (vitamin D receptor) [fold change (FC) 0.52, standard error for fold change (SE) ± 0.08, p = 0.01] and IFNG mRNA (FC 0.31; SE ± 0.19, p = 0.01) were lower in those with higher lean mass. Expression of IL-6 (FC 0.43; SE ± 0.13, p = 0.02), TNF (FC 0.52; SE ± 0.10, p = 0.02), IL1R1 (FC 0.63; SE ± 0.09, p = 0.04) and MSTN (myostatin) (FC 0.64; SE ± 0.11, p = 0.04) were lower in those with higher grip strength. No other significant changes were observed. Significant negative correlations between serum IL-6 (R = -0.29, p = 0.005), TNF (R = -0.24, p = 0.017) and grip strength were demonstrated. This novel skeletal muscle gene expression study carried out within a well-characterized epidemiological birth cohort has demonstrated that lower expression of VDR and IFNG is associated with higher lean mass, and lower expression of IL-6, TNF, IL1R1 and myostatin is associated with higher grip strength. These findings are consistent with a role of proinflammatory factors in mediating lower muscle strength in community-dwelling older men.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00223-014-9894-zDOI Listing
October 2014

Impacts of the Callipyge mutation on ovine plasma metabolites and muscle fibre type.

PLoS One 2014 17;9(6):e99726. Epub 2014 Jun 17.

The University of Queensland, Centre for Advanced Imaging, Brisbane, Australia.

The ovine Callipyge mutation causes postnatal muscle hypertrophy localized to the pelvic limbs and torso, as well as body leanness. The mechanism underpinning enhanced muscle mass is unclear, as is the systemic impact of the mutation. Using muscle fibre typing immunohistochemistry, we confirmed muscle specific effects and demonstrated that affected muscles had greater prevalence and hypertrophy of type 2X fast twitch glycolytic fibres and decreased representation of types 1, 2C, 2A and/or 2AX fibres. To investigate potential systemic effects of the mutation, proton NMR spectra of plasma taken from lambs at 8 and 12 weeks of age were measured. Multivariate statistical analysis of plasma metabolite profiles demonstrated effects of development and genotype but not gender. Plasma from Callipyge lambs at 12 weeks of age, but not 8 weeks, was characterized by a metabolic profile consistent with contributions from the affected hypertrophic fast twitch glycolytic muscle fibres. Microarray analysis of the perirenal adipose tissue depot did not reveal a transcriptional effect of the mutation in this tissue. We conclude that there is an indirect systemic effect of the Callipyge mutation in skeletal muscle in the form of changes of blood metabolites, which may contribute to secondary phenotypes such as body leanness.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0099726PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4061035PMC
February 2015

Molecular analyses provide insight into mechanisms underlying sarcopenia and myofibre denervation in old skeletal muscles of mice.

Int J Biochem Cell Biol 2014 Aug 13;53:174-85. Epub 2014 May 13.

School of Anatomy, Physiology and Human Biology, the University of Western Australia, WA, Australia. Electronic address:

Molecular mechanisms that are associated with age-related denervation and loss of skeletal muscle mass and function (sarcopenia) are described for female C57Bl/6J mice aged 3, 15, 24, 27 and 29 months (m). Changes in mRNAs and proteins associated with myofibre denervation and protein metabolism in ageing muscles are reported, across the transition from healthy adult myofibres to sarcopenia that occurs between 15 and 24 m. This onset of sarcopenia at 24 m, corresponded with increased expression of genes associated with neuromuscular junction denervation including Chnrg, Chrnd, Ncam1, Runx1, Gadd45a and Myog. Sarcopenia in quadriceps muscles also coincided with increased protein levels for Igf1 receptor, Akt and ribosomal protein S6 (Rps6) with increased phosphorylation of Rps6 (Ser235/236) and elevated Murf1 mRNA and protein, but not Fbxo32: many of these changes are also linked to denervation. Global transcription profiling via microarray analysis confirmed these functional themes and highlighted additional themes that may be a consequence of pathology associated with sarcopenia, including changes in fatty acid metabolism, extracellular matrix structure and protein catabolism. Ageing was also associated with increased global gene expression variance, consistent with decreased control of gene regulation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocel.2014.04.025DOI Listing
August 2014

An Always Correlated gene expression landscape for ovine skeletal muscle, lessons learnt from comparison with an "equivalent" bovine landscape.

BMC Res Notes 2012 Nov 13;5:632. Epub 2012 Nov 13.

Animal Science and Technology College, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou 225009, China.

Background: We have recently described a method for the construction of an informative gene expression correlation landscape for a single tissue, longissimus muscle (LM) of cattle, using a small number (less than a hundred) of diverse samples. Does this approach facilitate interspecies comparison of networks?

Findings: Using gene expression datasets from LM samples from a single postnatal time point for high and low muscling sheep, and from a developmental time course (prenatal to postnatal) for normal sheep and sheep exhibiting the Callipyge muscling phenotype gene expression correlations were calculated across subsets of the data comparable to the bovine analysis. An "Always Correlated" gene expression landscape was constructed by integrating the correlations from the subsets of data and was compared to the equivalent landscape for bovine LM muscle. Whilst at the high level apparently equivalent modules were identified in the two species, at the detailed level overlap between genes in the equivalent modules was limited and generally not significant. Indeed, only 395 genes and 18 edges were in common between the two landscapes.

Conclusions: Since it is unlikely that the equivalent muscles of two closely related species are as different as this analysis suggests, within tissue gene expression correlations appear to be very sensitive to the samples chosen for their construction, compounded by the different platforms used. Thus users need to be very cautious in interpretation of the differences. In future experiments, attention will be required to ensure equivalent experimental designs and use cross-species gene expression platform to enable the identification of true differences between different species.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1756-0500-5-632DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3543716PMC
November 2012

Genes contributing to genetic variation of muscling in sheep.

Front Genet 2012 29;3:164. Epub 2012 Aug 29.

Division of Animal, Food and Health Sciences, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation St Lucia, QLD, Australia.

Selective breeding programs aiming to increase the productivity and profitability of the sheep meat industry use elite, progeny tested sires. The broad genetic traits of primary interest in the progeny of these sires include skeletal muscle yield, fat content, eating quality, and reproductive efficiency. Natural mutations in sheep that enhance muscling have been identified, while a number of genome scans have identified and confirmed quantitative trait loci (QTL) for skeletal muscle traits. The detailed phenotypic characteristics of sheep carrying these mutations or QTL affecting skeletal muscle show a number of common biological themes, particularly changes in developmental growth trajectories, alterations of whole animal morphology, and a shift toward fast twitch glycolytic fibers. The genetic, developmental, and biochemical mechanisms underpinning the actions of some of these genetic variants are described. This review critically assesses this research area, identifies gaps in knowledge, and highlights mechanistic linkages between genetic polymorphisms and skeletal muscle phenotypic changes. This knowledge may aid the discovery of new causal genetic variants and in some cases lead to the development of biochemical and immunological strategies aimed at enhancing skeletal muscle.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fgene.2012.00164DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3429854PMC
October 2012

Genetic architecture of gene expression in ovine skeletal muscle.

BMC Genomics 2011 Dec 15;12:607. Epub 2011 Dec 15.

CSIRO Livestock Industries, ATSIP, PMB CSIRO Aitkenvale, Townsville, QLD 4814, Australia.

Background: In livestock populations the genetic contribution to muscling is intensively monitored in the progeny of industry sires and used as a tool in selective breeding programs. The genes and pathways conferring this genetic merit are largely undefined. Genetic variation within a population has potential, amongst other mechanisms, to alter gene expression via cis- or trans-acting mechanisms in a manner that impacts the functional activities of specific pathways that contribute to muscling traits. By integrating sire-based genetic merit information for a muscling trait with progeny-based gene expression data we directly tested the hypothesis that there is genetic structure in the gene expression program in ovine skeletal muscle.

Results: The genetic performance of six sires for a well defined muscling trait, longissimus lumborum muscle depth, was measured using extensive progeny testing and expressed as an Estimated Breeding Value by comparison with contemporary sires. Microarray gene expression data were obtained for longissimus lumborum samples taken from forty progeny of the six sires (4-8 progeny/sire). Initial unsupervised hierarchical clustering analysis revealed strong genetic architecture to the gene expression data, which also discriminated the sire-based Estimated Breeding Value for the trait. An integrated systems biology approach was then used to identify the major functional pathways contributing to the genetics of enhanced muscling by using both Estimated Breeding Value weighted gene co-expression network analysis and a differential gene co-expression network analysis. The modules of genes revealed by these analyses were enriched for a number of functional terms summarised as muscle sarcomere organisation and development, protein catabolism (proteosome), RNA processing, mitochondrial function and transcriptional regulation.

Conclusions: This study has revealed strong genetic structure in the gene expression program within ovine longissimus lumborum muscle. The balance between muscle protein synthesis, at the levels of both transcription and translation control, and protein catabolism mediated by regulated proteolysis is likely to be the primary determinant of the genetic merit for the muscling trait in this sheep population. There is also evidence that high genetic merit for muscling is associated with a fibre type shift toward fast glycolytic fibres. This study provides insight into mechanisms, presumably subject to strong artificial selection, that underpin enhanced muscling in sheep populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2164-12-607DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3265547PMC
December 2011

Bovine proteins containing poly-glutamine repeats are often polymorphic and enriched for components of transcriptional regulatory complexes.

BMC Genomics 2010 Nov 23;11:654. Epub 2010 Nov 23.

CSIRO Livestock Industries, Queensland Bioscience Precinct, 306 Carmody Rd, St Lucia, Queensland 4067, Australia.

Background: About forty human diseases are caused by repeat instability mutations. A distinct subset of these diseases is the result of extreme expansions of polymorphic trinucleotide repeats; typically CAG repeats encoding poly-glutamine (poly-Q) tracts in proteins. Polymorphic repeat length variation is also apparent in human poly-Q encoding genes from normal individuals. As these coding sequence repeats are subject to selection in mammals, it has been suggested that normal variations in some of these typically highly conserved genes are implicated in morphological differences between species and phenotypic variations within species. At present, poly-Q encoding genes in non-human mammalian species are poorly documented, as are their functions and propensities for polymorphic variation.

Results: The current investigation identified 178 bovine poly-Q encoding genes (Q ≥ 5) and within this group, 26 genes with orthologs in both human and mouse that did not contain poly-Q repeats. The bovine poly-Q encoding genes typically had ubiquitous expression patterns although there was bias towards expression in epithelia, brain and testes. They were also characterised by unusually large sizes. Analysis of gene ontology terms revealed that the encoded proteins were strongly enriched for functions associated with transcriptional regulation and many contributed to physical interaction networks in the nucleus where they presumably act cooperatively in transcriptional regulatory complexes. In addition, the coding sequence CAG repeats in some bovine genes impacted mRNA splicing thereby generating unusual transcriptional diversity, which in at least one instance was tissue-specific. The poly-Q encoding genes were prioritised using multiple criteria for their likelihood of being polymorphic and then the highest ranking group was experimentally tested for polymorphic variation within a cattle diversity panel. Extensive and meiotically stable variation was identified.

Conclusions: Transcriptional diversity can potentially be generated in poly-Q encoding genes by the impact of CAG repeat tracts on mRNA alternative splicing. This effect, combined with the physical interactions of the encoded proteins in large transcriptional regulatory complexes suggests that polymorphic variations of proteins in these complexes have strong potential to affect phenotype.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2164-11-654DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3014979PMC
November 2010

A gene network switch enhances the oxidative capacity of ovine skeletal muscle during late fetal development.

BMC Genomics 2010 Jun 15;11:378. Epub 2010 Jun 15.

CSIRO Livestock Industries, Queensland Bioscience Precinct, 306 Carmody Rd, St Lucia, 4067 Queensland, Australia.

Background: The developmental transition between the late fetus and a newborn animal is associated with profound changes in skeletal muscle function as it adapts to the new physiological demands of locomotion and postural support against gravity. The mechanisms underpinning this adaption process are unclear but are likely to be initiated by changes in hormone levels. We tested the hypothesis that this developmental transition is associated with large coordinated changes in the transcription of skeletal muscle genes.

Results: Using an ovine model, transcriptional profiling was performed on Longissimus dorsi skeletal muscle taken at three fetal developmental time points (80, 100 and 120 d of fetal development) and two postnatal time points, one approximately 3 days postpartum and a second at 3 months of age. The developmental time course was dominated by large changes in expression of 2,471 genes during the interval between late fetal development (120 d fetal development) and 1-3 days postpartum. Analysis of the functions of genes that were uniquely up-regulated in this interval showed strong enrichment for oxidative metabolism and the tricarboxylic acid cycle indicating enhanced mitochondrial activity. Histological examination of tissues from these developmental time points directly confirmed a marked increase in mitochondrial activity between the late fetal and early postnatal samples. The promoters of genes that were up-regulated during this fetal to neonatal transition were enriched for estrogen receptor 1 and estrogen related receptor alpha cis-regulatory motifs. The genes down-regulated during this interval highlighted de-emphasis of an array of functions including Wnt signaling, cell adhesion and differentiation. There were also changes in gene expression prior to this late fetal--postnatal transition and between the two postnatal time points. The former genes were enriched for functions involving the extracellular matrix and immune response while the latter principally involved functions associated with transcriptional regulation of metabolic processes.

Conclusions: It is concluded that during late skeletal muscle development there are substantial and coordinated changes in the transcription of a large number of genes many of which are probably triggered by increased estrogen levels. These changes probably underpin the adaption of muscle to new physiological demands in the postnatal environment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2164-11-378DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2894804PMC
June 2010

The imprinted retrotransposon-like gene PEG11 (RTL1) is expressed as a full-length protein in skeletal muscle from Callipyge sheep.

PLoS One 2010 Jan 8;5(1):e8638. Epub 2010 Jan 8.

CSIRO Livestock Industries, St Lucia, Queensland, Australia.

Members of the Ty3-Gypsy retrotransposon family are rare in mammalian genomes despite their abundance in invertebrates and some vertebrates. These elements contain a gag-pol-like structure characteristic of retroviruses but have lost their ability to retrotranspose into the mammalian genome and are thought to be inactive relics of ancient retrotransposition events. One of these retrotransposon-like elements, PEG11 (also called RTL1) is located at the distal end of ovine chromosome 18 within an imprinted gene cluster that is highly conserved in placental mammals. The region contains several conserved imprinted genes including BEGAIN, DLK1, DAT, GTL2 (MEG3), PEG11 (RTL1), PEG11as, MEG8, MIRG and DIO3. An intergenic point mutation between DLK1 and GTL2 causes muscle hypertrophy in callipyge sheep and is associated with large changes in expression of the genes linked in cis between DLK1 and MEG8. It has been suggested that over-expression of DLK1 is the effector of the callipyge phenotype; however, PEG11 gene expression is also strongly correlated with the emergence of the muscling phenotype as a function of genotype, muscle type and developmental stage. To date, there has been no direct evidence that PEG11 encodes a protein, especially as its anti-sense transcript (PEG11as) contains six miRNA that cause cleavage of the PEG11 transcript. Using immunological and mass spectrometry approaches we have directly identified the full-length PEG11 protein from postnatal nuclear preparations of callipyge skeletal muscle and conclude that its over-expression may be involved in inducing muscle hypertrophy. The developmental expression pattern of the PEG11 gene is consistent with the callipyge mutation causing recapitulation of the normal fetal-like gene expression program during postnatal development. Analysis of the PEG11 sequence indicates strong conservation of the regions encoding the antisense microRNA and in at least two cases these correspond with structural or functional domains of the protein suggesting co-evolution of the sense and antisense genes.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0008638PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2799525PMC
January 2010

Bovine Muc1 inhibits binding of enteric bacteria to Caco-2 cells.

Glycoconj J 2010 Jan;27(1):89-97

Faculty of Health, Medicine, Nursing and Behavioural Sciences, School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood, 3125, Victoria, Australia.

Inhibition of bacterial adhesion to intestinal epithelial receptors by the consumption of natural food components is an attractive strategy for the prevention of microbial related gastrointestinal illness. We hypothesised that Muc1, a highly glycosylated mucin present in cows' milk, may be one such food component. Purified bovine Muc1 was tested for its ability to inhibit binding of common enteric bacterial pathogens to Caco-2 cells grown in vitro. Muc1 caused dose-dependent binding inhibition of Escherichia coli, Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium), Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus subtilis. This inhibition was more pronounced for the Gram negative compared with Gram positive bacteria. It was also demonstrated that Muc1, immobilised on a membrane, bound all these bacterial species in a dose-dependent manner, although there was greater interaction with the Gram negative bacteria. A range of monosaccharides, representative of the Muc1 oligosaccharide composition, were tested for their ability to prevent binding of E. coli and S. Typhimurium to Caco-2 cells. Inhibition was structure dependent with sialic acid, L(-) fucose and D(+) mannose significantly inhibiting binding of both Gram negative species. N-acetylglucosamine and N-acetylgalactosamine significantly inhibited binding of E. coli whilst galactose, one of the most abundant Muc1 monosaccharides, showed the strongest inhibition against S. Typhimurium. Treatment with sialidase significantly decreased the inhibitory properties of Muc1, demonstrating the importance of sialic acid in adhesion inhibition. It is concluded that bovine Muc1 prevents binding of bacteria to human intestinal cells and may have a role in preventing the binding of common enteropathogenic bacteria to human intestinal epithelial surfaces.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10719-009-9269-2DOI Listing
January 2010

Effect of DLK1 and RTL1 but not MEG3 or MEG8 on muscle gene expression in Callipyge lambs.

PLoS One 2009 Oct 9;4(10):e7399. Epub 2009 Oct 9.

Department of Animal Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA.

Callipyge sheep exhibit extreme postnatal muscle hypertrophy in the loin and hindquarters as a result of a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the imprinted DLK1-DIO3 domain on ovine chromosome 18. The callipyge SNP up-regulates the expression of surrounding transcripts when inherited in cis without altering their allele-specific imprinting status. The callipyge phenotype exhibits polar overdominant inheritance since only paternal heterozygous animals have muscle hypertrophy. Two studies were conducted profiling gene expression in lamb muscles to determine the down-stream effects of over-expression of paternal allele-specific DLK1 and RTL1 as well as maternal allele-specific MEG3, RTL1AS and MEG8, using Affymetrix bovine expression arrays. A total of 375 transcripts were differentially expressed in callipyge muscle and 25 transcripts were subsequently validated by quantitative PCR. The muscle-specific expression patterns of most genes were similar to DLK1 and included genes that are transcriptional repressors or affect feedback mechanisms in beta-adrenergic and growth factor signaling pathways. One gene, phosphodiesterase 7A had an expression pattern similar to RTL1 expression indicating a biological activity for RTL1 in muscle. Only transcripts that localize to the DLK1-DIO3 domain were affected by inheritance of a maternal callipyge allele. Callipyge sheep are a unique model to study over expression of both paternal allele-specific genes and maternal allele-specific non-coding RNA with an accessible and nonlethal phenotype. This study has identified a number of genes that are regulated by DLK1 and RTL1 expression and exert control on postnatal skeletal muscle growth. The genes identified in this model are primary candidates for naturally regulating postnatal muscle growth in all meat animal species, and may serve as targets to ameliorate muscle atrophy conditions including myopathic diseases and age-related sarcopenia.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0007399PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2756960PMC
October 2009

Unlocking the bovine genome.

BMC Genomics 2009 Apr 24;10:193. Epub 2009 Apr 24.

CSIRO Livestock Industries, St Lucia, QLD, Australia.

The draft genome sequence of cattle (Bos taurus) has now been analyzed by the Bovine Genome Sequencing and Analysis Consortium and the Bovine HapMap Consortium, which together represent an extensive collaboration involving more than 300 scientists from 25 different countries.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2164-10-193DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2680899PMC
April 2009

The bovine lactation genome: insights into the evolution of mammalian milk.

Genome Biol 2009 24;10(4):R43. Epub 2009 Apr 24.

Department of Food Science and Technology, University of California Davis, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616, USA.

Background: The newly assembled Bos taurus genome sequence enables the linkage of bovine milk and lactation data with other mammalian genomes.

Results: Using publicly available milk proteome data and mammary expressed sequence tags, 197 milk protein genes and over 6,000 mammary genes were identified in the bovine genome. Intersection of these genes with 238 milk production quantitative trait loci curated from the literature decreased the search space for milk trait effectors by more than an order of magnitude. Genome location analysis revealed a tendency for milk protein genes to be clustered with other mammary genes. Using the genomes of a monotreme (platypus), a marsupial (opossum), and five placental mammals (bovine, human, dog, mice, rat), gene loss and duplication, phylogeny, sequence conservation, and evolution were examined. Compared with other genes in the bovine genome, milk and mammary genes are: more likely to be present in all mammals; more likely to be duplicated in therians; more highly conserved across Mammalia; and evolving more slowly along the bovine lineage. The most divergent proteins in milk were associated with nutritional and immunological components of milk, whereas highly conserved proteins were associated with secretory processes.

Conclusions: Although both copy number and sequence variation contribute to the diversity of milk protein composition across species, our results suggest that this diversity is primarily due to other mechanisms. Our findings support the essentiality of milk to the survival of mammalian neonates and the establishment of milk secretory mechanisms more than 160 million years ago.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/gb-2009-10-4-r43DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2688934PMC
September 2009

The genome sequence of taurine cattle: a window to ruminant biology and evolution.

Science 2009 Apr;324(5926):522-8

To understand the biology and evolution of ruminants, the cattle genome was sequenced to about sevenfold coverage. The cattle genome contains a minimum of 22,000 genes, with a core set of 14,345 orthologs shared among seven mammalian species of which 1217 are absent or undetected in noneutherian (marsupial or monotreme) genomes. Cattle-specific evolutionary breakpoint regions in chromosomes have a higher density of segmental duplications, enrichment of repetitive elements, and species-specific variations in genes associated with lactation and immune responsiveness. Genes involved in metabolism are generally highly conserved, although five metabolic genes are deleted or extensively diverged from their human orthologs. The cattle genome sequence thus provides a resource for understanding mammalian evolution and accelerating livestock genetic improvement for milk and meat production.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1169588DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2943200PMC
April 2009

Identification of immune genes and proteins involved in the response of bovine mammary tissue to Staphylococcus aureus infection.

BMC Vet Res 2008 Jun 2;4:18. Epub 2008 Jun 2.

Co-operative Research Centre for Innovative Dairy Products, Australia.

Background: Mastitis in dairy cattle results from infection of mammary tissue by a range of micro-organisms but principally coliform bacteria and Gram positive bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus. The former species are often acquired by environmental contamination while S. aureus is particularly problematic due to its resistance to antibiotic treatments and ability to reside within mammary tissue in a chronic, subclinical state. The transcriptional responses within bovine mammary epithelial tissue subjected to intramammary challenge with S. aureus are poorly characterised, particularly at the earliest stages of infection. Moreover, the effect of infection on the presence of bioactive innate immune proteins in milk is also unclear. The nature of these responses may determine the susceptibility of the tissue and its ability to resolve the infection.

Results: Transcriptional profiling was employed to measure changes in gene expression occurring in bovine mammary tissues sampled from three dairy cows after brief and graded intramammary challenges with S. aureus. These limited challenges had no significant effect on the expression pattern of the gene encoding beta-casein but caused coordinated up-regulation of a number of cytokines and chemokines involved in pro-inflammatory responses. In addition, the enhanced expression of two genes, S100 calcium-binding protein A12 (S100A12) and Pentraxin-3 (PTX3) corresponded with significantly increased levels of their proteins in milk from infected udders. Both genes were shown to be expressed by mammary epithelial cells grown in culture after stimulation with lipopolysaccharide. There was also a strong correlation between somatic cell count, a widely used measure of mastitis, and the level of S100A12 in milk from a herd of dairy cows. Recombinant S100A12 inhibited growth of Escherichia coli in vitro and recombinant PTX3 bound to E. coli as well as C1q, a subunit of the first component of the complement cascade.

Conclusion: The transcriptional responses in infected bovine mammary tissue, even at low doses of bacteria and short periods of infection, probably reflect the combined contributions of gene expression changes resulting from the activation of mammary epithelial cells and infiltrating immune cells. The secretion of a number of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines from mammary epithelial cells stimulated by the bacteria serves to trigger the recruitment and activation of neutrophils in mammary tissue. The presence of S100A12 and PTX3 in milk from infected udder quarters may increase the anti-bacterial properties of milk thereby helping to resolve the mammary tissue infection as well as potentially contributing to the maturation of the newborn calf epithelium and establishment of the newborn gut microbial population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1746-6148-4-18DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2430192PMC
June 2008

MicroRNA-26a targets the histone methyltransferase Enhancer of Zeste homolog 2 during myogenesis.

J Biol Chem 2008 Apr 15;283(15):9836-43. Epub 2008 Feb 15.

CSIRO Livestock Industries, Queensland Bioscience Precinct, 306 Carmody Road, St. Lucia 4067, QLD, Australia.

MicroRNA (miRNA) are important regulators of many biological processes, but the targets for most miRNA are still poorly defined. In this study, we profiled the expression of miRNA during myogenesis, from proliferating myoblasts through to terminally differentiated myotubes. Microarray results identified six significantly differentially expressed miRNA that were more than 2-fold different in myotubes. From this list, miRNA-26a (miR-26a), an up-regulated miRNA, was further examined. Overexpression of miR-26a in murine myogenic C2C12 cells induced creatine kinase activity, an enzyme that markedly increases during myogenesis. Further, myoD and myogenin mRNA expression levels were also up-regulated. These results suggest that increased expression of miR-26a promotes myogenesis. Through a bioinformatics approach, we identified the histone methyltransferase, Enhancer of Zeste homolog 2 (Ezh2), as a potential target of miR-26a. Overexpression of miR-26a suppressed the activity of a luciferase reporter construct fused with the 3'-untranslated region of Ezh2. In addition, miR-26a overexpression decreased Ezh2 mRNA expression. These results reveal a model of regulation during myogenesis whereby the up-regulation of miR-26a acts to post-transcriptionally repress Ezh2, a known suppressor of skeletal muscle cell differentiation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M709614200DOI Listing
April 2008
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