Research Papers:

Integrated analysis of mRNA and miRNA expression profiles in livers of Yimeng black pigs with extreme phenotypes for backfat thickness

Wentong Li, Yalan Yang, Ying Liu, Shuai Liu, Xiuxiu Li, Yingping Wang, Yanmin Zhang, Hui Tang, Rong Zhou _ and Kui Li

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:114787-114800. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.21918

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Wentong Li1,2,3,*, Yalan Yang1,3,*, Ying Liu3, Shuai Liu2, Xiuxiu Li2, Yingping Wang2, Yanmin Zhang3, Hui Tang2, Rong Zhou1,3 and Kui Li1,3,4

1School of Life Science, Foshan University, Foshan 528231, P.R. China

2College of Animal Science and Technology, Shandong Agricultural University, Tai’an 271000, P.R. China

3The State Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition, Institute of Animal Science, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100193, P.R. China

4Shandong Lansi Seeds Industry Co., Ltd., Rizhao 276800, P.R.China

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Rong Zhou, email: [email protected]

Hui Tang, email: [email protected]

Keywords: pig; backfat thickness; liver; RNA-Seq; miRNA-seq

Received: May 24, 2017    Accepted: September 21, 2017    Published: October 19, 2017


Fat deposition is an important economic trait in farm animals as well as obesity related diseases in humans, and the liver is a central organ involved in regulating lipid synthesis and metabolism in mammals. In this study, the pig liver transcriptome of two groups (H and L) showing differences in backfat thickness were profiled using RNA-Seq and miRNA-Seq to further explore the molecular mechanism of fat deposition. A total of 238 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) and 58 differentially expressed miRNAs were identified between the H and L group. These genes and miRNAs were functionally related to lipid metabolism, including CYP1A1/2, HMGCS2, ACSS2, UBE2L6, miR-27a, and miR-31. Functional enrichment analysis revealed that genes associated with oxidative stress might be responsible for fat deposition in pigs. Two miRNA-mRNA interaction networks involved in lipid metabolism were identified, and these provided new insights into the molecular regulation that determines fat content in these pigs. Overall, our study furthers our understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in fat deposition, and these results may help in the design of selection strategies to improve the quality of pork meat and to combat obesity in humans.

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