Skip to main content Accessibility help

Characterisation of gene expression related to milk fat synthesis in the mammary tissue of lactating yaks

  • Jung Nam Lee (a1), Yong Wang (a2), Ya Ou Xu (a1), Yu Can Li (a1), Fang Tian (a1) and Ming Feng Jiang (a1)...


This research communication describes the profile of gene expression related to the synthesis of yak milk as determined via quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR). Significant up-regulation during lactation were observed in genes related to fatty acid (FA) uptake from blood (LPL, CD36), intracellular FA transport (FABP3), intracellular FA activation of long- and short-chain FAs (ACSS1, ACSS2, ACSL1), de novo synthesis (ACACA), desaturation (SCD), triacyglycerol (TAG) synthesis (AGPAT6, GPAM, LPIN1), lipid droplet formation (PLIN2, BTN1A1, XDH), ketone body utilisation (BDH1, OXCT1), and transcription regulation (THRSP, PPARGC1A). In particular, intracellular de novo FA synthesis (ACSS2, ACACA, and FABP3) and TAG synthesis (GPAM, AGPAT6, and LPIN1), whose regulation might be orchestrated as part of the gene network under the control of SERBF1 in the milk fat synthesis process, were more activated compared to levels in dairy cows. However, the genes involved in lipid droplet formation (PLIN2, XDH, and BTN1A1) were expressed at lower levels compared to those in dairy cows, where these genes are mainly controlled by the PPARG regulator.


Corresponding author

*For correspondence; e-mail:


Hide All
Bauman, DE & Davis, CL 1974 Biosynthesis of milk fat. In Lactation: A Comprehensive Treatise, Vol. 2., pp. 31–75 (Eds BL Larson & VR Smith). Academic Press, NY, USA
Bernard, L, Leroux, C & Chilliard, Y 2008 Expression and nutritional regulation of lipogenic genes in the ruminant lactating mammary gland. Advanced in Experimental Medicine and Biology 606 67108
Bionaz, M & Loor, JJ 2007 Identification of reference genes for quantitative real-time PCR in the bovine mammary gland during the lactation cycle. Physiological Genomics 29 312319
Bionaz, M & Loor, JJ 2008 Gene networks driving bovine milk fat synthesis during the lactation cycle. BMC genomics 9 366386
Espenshade, PJ & Hughes, AL 2007 Regulation of sterol synthesis in eukaryotes. Annual Review of Genetics 41 401427
Fielding, BA & Frayn, KN 1998 Lipoprotein lipase and the disposition of dietary fatty acids. British Journal of Nutrition 80 495502
Gomez-Cortes, P, Tyburczy, C, Brenna, JT, Juarez, M & Fuente, MA 2009 Characterization of cis-9 trans-11 trans-15 C18:3 in milk fat by GC and covalent adduct chemical ionization tandem MS. Journal of Lipid Research 50 24122420
Harvatine, KJ & Bauman, DE 2006 SREBP1 and thyroid hormone responsive spot 14(S14) are involved in the regulation of bovine mammary lipid synthesis during diet-induced milk fat depression and treatment with CLA. Journal of Nutrition 136 24682474
Jiang, MF, Lee, JN, Bionaz, M, Deng, XY & Wang, Y 2016 Evaluation of suitable internal control genes for RT-qPCR in yak mammary tissue during the lactation cycle. PLos ONE 11 e0147705
Kang, Y, Hengbo, S, Jun, L, Jun, L, Wangsheng, Z, Huibin, T & Huaiping, S 2015 PPARG modulated lipid accumulation in dairy GMEC via regulation ADRP gene. Journal of Cell Biochemistry 116 192201
McManaman, JL, Russell, TD, Schaack, J, Orlicky, DJ & Robenek, H 2007 Molecular determinants of milk lipid secretion. Journal of Mammary Gland Biology and Neoplasia. 12 259268
Pfaffl, MW 2001 A new mathematical model for relative quantification in real-time RT-PCR. Nucleic Acids Research 29 e45
Qiu, Q, Zhang, G, Ma, T, Qian, W, Wang, J & Ye, Z 2012 The yak genome and adaptation to life at high altitude. Nature Genetics 44 946949
Wang, K, Yang, Y, Wang, L, Ma, T, Shang, H, Ding, L, Han, J & Qiu, Q 2016 Different gene expressions between cattle and yak provide insights into high-altitude adaptation. Animal Genetics 47 2835
Wiener, G, Han, JL & Long, R 2006 The Yak, 2nd edition, pp. 26, 136–149. RAP Publication. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok, Thailand.
Xu, HF, Luo, J, Zhao, WS, Yang, YC, Tian, HB, Shi, HB & Bionaz, M 2016 Overexpression of SREBP1 (sterol regulatory element binding protein 1) promotes de novo fatty acid synthesis and triacylglycerol accumulation in goat mammary epithelial cell. Journal of Dairy Science 99 783–779


Type Description Title
Supplementary materials

Lee et al supplementary material
Lee et al supplementary material

 PDF (611 KB)
611 KB


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed