Comparison of transcriptome between high- and low-marbling fineness in longissimus thoracis muscle of Korean cattle

  • Beak, Seok-Hyeon (Department of Agricultural Biotechnology and Research Institute of Agriculture and Life Sciences, College of Agriculture and Life Science, Seoul National University) ;
  • Baik, Myunggi (Department of Agricultural Biotechnology and Research Institute of Agriculture and Life Sciences, College of Agriculture and Life Science, Seoul National University)
  • Received : 2021.03.31
  • Accepted : 2021.06.11
  • Published : 2022.02.01


Objective: This study compared differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between groups with high and low numbers of fine marbling particles (NFMP) in the longissimus thoracis muscle (LT) of Korean cattle to understand the molecular events associated with fine marbling particle formation. Methods: The size and distribution of marbling particles in the LT were assessed with a computer image analysis method. Based on the NFMP, 10 LT samples were selected and assigned to either high- (n = 5) or low- (n = 5) NFMP groups. Using RNA sequencing, LT transcriptomic profiles were compared between the high- and low-NFMP groups. DEGs were selected at p<0.05 and |fold change| >2 and subjected to functional annotation. Results: In total, 328 DEGs were identified, with 207 up-regulated and 121 down-regulated genes in the high-NFMP group. Pathway analysis of these DEGs revealed five significant (p<0.05) Kyoto encyclopedia of genes and genomes pathways; the significant terms included endocytosis (p = 0.023), protein processing in endoplasmic reticulum (p = 0.019), and adipocytokine signaling pathway (p = 0.024), which are thought to regulate adipocyte hypertrophy and hyperplasia. The expression of sirtuin4 (p<0.001) and insulin receptor substrate 2 (p = 0.043), which are associated with glucose uptake and adipocyte differentiation, was higher in the high-NFMP group than in the low-NFMP group. Conclusion: Transcriptome differences between the high- and low-NFMP groups suggest that pathways regulating adipocyte hyperplasia and hypertrophy are involved in the marbling fineness of the LT.



This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (2017R1A2B4003207; 2020R1I1A1A01052628).


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