Hypoxic adaptations of hemoglobin in Tibetan chick embryo: high oxygen-affinity mutation and selective expression

Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology. Part B, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Xiao GouC Wu


Tibetan chicks (Gallus gallus) survived with high hatchability (35.0%) and Recessive White Feather broilers (RWF) from low elevations survived rarely and with a low hatchability (3.0%) after simulated incubation under hypoxia of 13% O2. The functional mutation of Met-32D(B13)-Leu of alpha(D) globin chain was related with hypoxia based on allele distribution, homology model building and oxygen affinity assay. Whole embryos on days 3-8 and whole blood on days 9-18 were collected to investigate the stage expression profiles of all seven globins and HIF-1alpha by real-time PCR. Under hypoxia (12.0% O2) on days 3-8, HbE was overexpressed, HbA was expressed earlier and HbP expression was restricted, which completely overturned the expression profile under normoxia. The amount of hemoglobin expression in Tibetan chicks was remarkably higher than that of RWF. HIF-1alpha expression peaked early in both breeds, with. In conclusion, the special hypoxic expression profile on days 3-8 certainly is a common molecular mechanism of hypoxia tolerance in surviving Tibetan chick and RWF embryos; the mutation Met-32D(B13)-Leu and increasing hemoglobins are important mechanisms of hypoxia adaptation in Tibetan chick embryos, and we suggest that HIF...Continue Reading


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