Functional polymorphisms : bovine calpastatin gene and meat tenderness

Abd Manap, Mohd Nazmi (2012) Functional polymorphisms : bovine calpastatin gene and meat tenderness. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Calpastatin is widely known as an endogenous specific inhibitor to the ubiquitously expressed calpain an enzyme responsible for proteolysis of myofibrillar proteins during post-mortem degradation of muscle. The presence of the calpastatin polypeptide in muscle indicates that the activity of calpain can be potentially down regulated which could result in meat toughness. Asssement of calpastatin activity in meat could be a predictive marker to meat tenderness and variation in the gene has the potential to become a candidate genetic marker which is associated with meat tenderness. The variability and inconsistency produced in meat tenderness post-mortem could be reduced if animals could be selected based on this potential genetic marker prior to slaughter which in turn will reduce the cost in meat processing and ultimately achieve the main objective of producing consistently tender meat.

Previous studies have successfully sequenced bovine calpastatin cDNA and found that a series of promoters in the 5’ region are responsible for transcribing Type I, II and III mRNA for calpastatin. The presence and length of CA tandem repeat sequence 5’ to the transcription start site of Type I calpastatin mRNA is believed to play a significant role in regulating the transcriptional activity of this promoter. This thesis investigated the hypothesis that there was a relationship between length polymorphisms of CA repeat located 5’ to the promoter region of Type I bovine calpastatin which altered the level of calpastatin transcripts and ultimately influenced meat shear force value due to the variation in calpain inhibition. Apart from this, transcriptional activity of promoter for Type I, II, and Type III calpastatin were also assessed as well as their response towards agents involved in signalling cascade associated with the agents that stimulate hypertrophic growth. In order to investigate the CA tandem repeat polymorphisms, a PCR based cloning strategy was developed in this study which allowed amplification of this region. Cattle (n=6) of different breed and meat tenderness had their CA tandem repeat sequences amplified which were then cloned into a ZsGreen based reporter construct and transcriptional activity of the promoter were measured using fluorescence imager (Typhoon Trio). From the results, there was no direct correlation (R=0.28) found between the CA tandem repeat length and the shear force value of the meat. However, transcriptional activity for Type I promoter was significantly affected (P<0.05) by changing the length of CA tandem repeat (40-60bp). In general, the calpastatin promoters displayed negative response towards treatment with cAMP(P<0.05) and there were no significant changes to the promoter activity when it was treated with forskolin. Furthermore, a significant reduction in promoter activity (P<0.05) was observed from all calpastatin promoters with calcimycin treatment.

The research shows that the type I calpastatin promoter has transcriptional activity and is regulated by secondary messengers which activate cAMP dependent kinases. Although altering the CA tandem repeat length alters promoter activity, there appears to be no simple relationship between its length and toughness, as determined by shear force. However the differential activity of the three calpastatin promoters indicates that there are potentially multiple mechanisms by which its activity can be regulated.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Parr, T.
Subjects: Q Science > QP Physiology > QP501 Animal biochemistry
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Science > School of Biosciences
Item ID: 12764
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2012 13:50
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2017 21:53

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