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Sun W.,Yangzhou University | Ni R.,Yangzhou University | Yin J.F.,Yangzhou University | Musa H.H.,University of Khartoum | And 2 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Hu sheep lambskin comes from a specific breed of sheep of China. Hu sheep are considered a protected breed by the Chinese government. The hair follicles of these sheep have three types of waves, large, medium, and small. There are only few histological reports of Hu sheep lambskin, and there are no modern molecular or biological studies, so the molecular mechanisms underlying the formation of hair follicles with different patterns are not currently known. The aim of this article was to study the molecular mechanism of the formation of these types of hair follicles in Hu sheep. Histological and microscopic analysis indicated that the number of follicles with small waves was not significantly higher than the number of follicles with large waves (P>0.05). The diameters of primary and secondary small-wave follicles were significantly smaller than those of large-wave follicles (P<0.05; P<0.01). The ratio between the number primary follicles and the number of secondary follicles was significantly higher among small-wave follicles than among large-wave follicles (P<0.05). Differentially expressed genes in the skin tissue were screened using an Agilent gene chip and RT-PCR. Differential expression analysis revealed 3 groups of large waves and small waves; 1067, 2071, and 3879 differentially expressed genes; and 137 genes common to all 3 groups. Differentially expressed genes were classified using gene ontology. They were found to be mainly involved in cell differentiation, proliferation, apoptosis, growth, immune response, and ion transport. RT-PCR results of 4 differentially expressed genes were consistent with gene chip results. Combined with related literature, our results suggest that BMP7, MMP2, SNAI1, SFXN1, CDKNIC, MT3, and POU1F1 may have important effects on the formation of large-wave and small-wave hair follicles. This study may enrich knowledge of hair follicle development, and may identify the genes responsible for the formation of hair follicles with different patterns. © 2013 Sun et al. Source


Lv X.,Yangzhou University | Sun W.,Yangzhou University | Yin J.,Yangzhou University | Ni R.,Yangzhou University | And 7 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2016

Wave patterns in lambskin hair follicles are an important factor determining the quality of sheep's wool. Hair follicles in lambskin from Hu sheep, a breed unique to China, have 3 types of waves, designated as large, medium, and small. The quality of wool from small wave follicles is excellent, while the quality of large waves is considered poor. Because no molecular and biological studies on hair follicles of these sheep have been conducted to date, the molecular mechanisms underlying the formation of different wave patterns is currently unknown. The aim of this article was to screen the candidate microRNAs (miRNA) and genes for the development of hair follicles in Hu sheep. Two-day-old Hu lambs were selected from full-sib individuals that showed large, medium, and small waves. Integrated analysis of microRNA and mRNA expression profiles employed high-throughout sequencing technology. Approximately 13, 24, and 18 differentially expressed miRNAs were found between small and large waves, small and medium waves, and medium and large waves, respectively. A total of 54, 190, and 81 differentially expressed genes were found between small and large waves, small and medium waves, and medium and large waves, respectively, by RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) analysis. Differentially expressed genes were classified using gene ontology and pathway analyses. They were found to be mainly involved in cell differentiation, proliferation, apoptosis, growth, immune response, and ion transport, and were associated with MAPK and the Notch signaling pathway. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analyses of differentially-expressed miRNA and genes were consistent with sequencing results. Integrated analysis of miRNA and mRNA expression indicated that, compared to small waves, large waves included 4 downregulated miRNAs that had regulatory effects on 8 upregulated genes and 3 upregulated miRNAs, which in turn influenced 13 downregulated genes. Compared to small waves, medium waves included 13 downregulated miRNAs that had regulatory effects on 64 upregulated genes and 4 upregulated miRNAs, which in turn had regulatory effects on 22 downregulated genes. Compared to medium waves, large waves consisted of 13 upregulated miRNAs that had regulatory effects on 48 downregulated genes. These differentially expressed miRNAs and genes may play a significant role in forming different patterns, and provide evidence for the molecular mechanisms underlying the formation of hair follicles of varying patterns. © 2016 Lv et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Source


Gao W.,Yangzhou University | Sun W.,Yangzhou University | Su R.,Yangzhou University | Lv X.Y.,Yangzhou University | And 6 more authors.
Genetics and Molecular Research | Year: 2016

RT-PCR was used to study the temporal and spatial pattern of Yes-associated protein 1 (YAP1) and myosin heavy chain (MyHC) expression in four different skeletal muscles (i.e., longissimus dorsi muscle, soleus muscle, gastrocnemius muscle, and extensor digitorum longus) and three growth stages (i.e., 2 days old, 2 and 6 months old) of Hu Sheep. The results showed that YAP1 was differentially expressed in skeletal muscles of sheep, that expression increased gradually with age, and that there were high levels of expression in the gastrocnemius muscle and lower levels in the longissimus dorsi muscle. MyHCI was expressed at high levels in the soleus muscle and at lower levels in the longissimus dorsi muscle. In contrast, MyHCIIA and MyHCIIX were expressed at high levels in the extensor digitorum longus and at lower levels in the soleus muscle. The expression of MyHCI and MyHCIIA decreased with increasing age while that of MyHCIIX increased. YAP1 expression was negatively correlated with MyHCII (P < 0.01) and positively correlated with MyHCIIX (P < 0.01) across all growth stages and skeletal muscle types studied. We speculate that after birth, the thicker muscle fiber diameter is associated with the high expression of MyHCIIX. Therefore, we conclude that YAP1 expression affects sheep muscle fiber development after birth and provides important genetic information for the selection candidate genes for sheep muscle growth. © FUNPEC-RP. Source


Su R.,Yangzhou University | Sun W.,Yangzhou University | Li D.,Yangzhou University | Wang Q.Z.,Yangzhou University | And 5 more authors.
Genetics and Molecular Research | Year: 2014

The aim of the present study was to detect delta-like 1 homolog (DLK1) and insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) gene expression in the longissimus dorsi of Hu sheep at different growth stages and study the association between these genes and meat quality. The diameter and density of muscle fibers and tenderness of the longissimus dorsi were measured. Growth stage, but not sex, significantly affected DLK1 and IGF-I expression. DLK1 and IGF-I expression in the sheep longissimus dorsi gradually increased with growth, but also decreased during some periods. These results suggest that different growth stages significantly affect DLK1 and IGF-I gene expression in sheep muscle tissue. The expression of DLK1 and IGF-I genes were positively and significantly (P < 0.01) correlated with muscle fiber diameter and muscle fiber shear stress, and negatively and significantly (P < 0.01) correlated with muscle fiber density. Muscle fiber diameter was positively and significantly (P < 0.01) correlated with muscle fiber shear stress, and negatively and significantly (P < 0.01) correlated with muscle fiber density. In addition, DLK-1 expression was significantly (P < 0.01) and positively correlated with IGF-I expression. © FUNPEC-RP. Source


Sun W.,Yangzhou University | Sun W.,Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences | Su R.,Yangzhou University | Li D.,Yangzhou University | And 7 more authors.
Genetics and Molecular Research | Year: 2014

In the present study, real time-polymerase chain reaction was applied to analyze the expression of IGF-I and MyoG genes in Hu sheep longissimus dorsi at different growth stages and their association with meat traits. Expression of the IGF-I gene in Hu sheep differed significantly between males and females at the two day-old (0.01 < P; 0.05), one-month old (0.01 < P < 0.05), and three month-old (P < 0.01) stages. IGF-I gene expression in male longissimus muscles was higher than that of females at all growth stages, except for the three month-old stage. There was no significant difference (P > 0.05) between males and females at any growth stage in expression of the MyoG gene. MyoG gene expression in male longissimus muscles tended to be higher than that of females at all growth stages, except for the six month- old stage. IGF-I gene expression was significantly and positively correlated with live weight (P < 0.01) and carcass weight (0.01< P < 0.05), and was non-significantly positively correlated with net meat weight (P > 0.05). In contrast, MyoG gene expression was non-significantly and positively correlated with live weight, carcass, and net meat weight (P > 0.05). Carcass traits showed highly significant positive correlations (P < 0.01). Furthermore, expressions of IGF-I and MyoG genes showed highly significant positive correlations (P < 0.01). We conclude that the expressions of IGF-I and MyoG genes are significantly and positively correlated with early muscle traits of Hu sheep. © FUNPEC-RP. Source

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