Genetic variability in the predicted microRNA target sites of caprine casein genes

Zidi, A.
Amills, Marcel
Tomás, A.
Ramírez, O.
Carrizosa, J.
Urrutia, B.
Serradilla, J.M.
Clop, A.
The main goal of the current work was to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) that might create or disrupt microRNA (miRNA) target sites in the caprine casein genes. The 3′ untranslated regions of the goat αS1-, αS2-, β-, and κ-casein genes (CSN1S1, CSN1S2, CSN2, and CSN3, respectively) were resequenced in 25 individuals of the Murciano-Granadina, Cashmere, Canarian, Saanen, and Sahelian breeds. Five SNP were identified through this strategy: c.*175C > T at CSN1S1; c.*109T > C, c.*139G > C, and c.*160T > C at CSN1S2; and c.*216C > T at CSN2. Analysis with the Patrocles Finder tool predicted that all of these SNP are located within regions complementary to the seed of diverse miRNA sequences. These in silico results suggest that polymorphism at miRNA target sites might have some effect on casein expression. We explored this issue by genotyping the c.*175C > T SNP (CSN1S1) in 85 Murciano-Granadina goats with records for milk CSN1S1 concentrations. This substitution destroys a putative target site for miR-101, a miRNA known to be expressed in the bovine mammary gland. Although TT goats had higher levels (6.25 g/L) of CSN1S1 than their CT (6.05 g/L) and CC (6.04 g/L) counterparts, these differences were not significant. Experimental confirmation of the miRNA target sites predicted in the current work and performance of additional association analyses in other goat populations will be an essential step to find out if polymorphic miRNA target sites constitute an important source of variation in casein expression ​
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