Journal of Animal Health and Production

Research Article
J. Anim. Health Prod. 9(3): 321-330
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Kyoung Sub Jung1, Yun Dong Choi2, Sang Hwan Kim3*

1ChungCheongBuk-Do Province Veterinary Service Laboratory, Cheongju, Chungcheongbuk-do, 28153, Korea; 2Seoul Hoseo Occupational Training College, Seoul, 07583, Korea; 3Institute of Genetic Engineering, Hankyong National University, Ansung, Gyeonggi-do, 17579, Korea.

Kyoung Sub Jung and Yun Dong Choi contributed equally to this work.

Abstract | In melanocytes, the expression of different pigments is controlled by the melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R: ED, E+, and e) and the agouti locus alleles. This study aimed to identify melanogenesis-associated genes that are differentially expressed in the yellow and brindle coat of the Korean native cattle. The expression level of MC1R protein in the Korean brindle cattle (KBC) and the Korean dark cattle (KDC: Black coat color) was evaluated and it was found that the MC1R protein level in KDC was much higher than expected, but the expression was found to be lower in the large sweat glands present in the epidermis. The results of the RT-PCR analysis demonstrated that the mRNA expression level of MC1R in the KBC was completely correlated to the localization analysis. The expression level of MC1R mRNA was found to be elevated in the Korean Hanwoo cattle (KHC) compared to those in other groups. Moreover, the genes involved in the MAPK vs. Wnt signaling pathway are differentially expressed between KBC and KHC. The expression of melanogenesis-associated genes was higher in the KBC, while the Wnt signal pathways and other minor genes were highly expressed in KHC. From these results, we were able to demonstrate the diversity in Korean native cattle by assessing the differences in the expression of melanogenesis-associated genes.

Keywords | Melanogenesis, MARK, Wnt, Coat color, Korean brindle cattle