5'-flanking variants of equine casein genes (CSN1S1, CSN1S2, CSN2, CSN3) and their relationship with gene expression and milk composition

Journal of Applied Genetics
Jakub CieslakMariusz Mackowski


Genes encoding casein proteins are important candidates for milk composition traits in mammals. In the case of the domestic horse, our knowledge of casein genes is limited mainly to coding sequence variants. This study involved screening for polymorphism in 5'-flanking regions of four genes encoding equine caseins (CSN1S1, CSN1S2, CSN2, and CSN3) and making a preliminary assessment of their effect on the gene expression (on the mRNA and protein levels) and milk composition traits in selected horse breeds. Altogether, 23 polymorphisms (21 described previously SNPs and two novel InDels) were found in the studied sequences, the majority of which are common in various horse breeds. Statistical analysis revealed that some are putatively associated with gene expression or milk composition - for example, the c.-2047_-2048insAT polymorphism (CSN1S1) turns out to be related to the total milk protein content in Polish Primitive Horse (p < 0.05), whereas c.-2105C>G SNP (CSN2) is related to beta-casein relative mRNA level and milk lactose concentration in the Polish Coldblood Horse breed (p < 0.05). We have also found significant effects of horse breed and lactation time-point on gene expression and mare's milk composition. Our study indic...Continue Reading


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