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Hormone-dependent expression of the ovine β-lactoglobulin gene

  • Rebecca Osborne (a1) (a2), Michael Howell (a1) (a2), A. John Clark (a1) (a3) and Kevin R. Nicholas (a1)


The minimal hormonal requirements for inducing the ovine β-lactoglobulin gene have been investigated using mammary gland explants from ewes in the first half of pregnancy. Quantification of β-lactoglobulin mRNA showed that a combination of insulin, Cortisol and prolactin was required to stimulate the expression of the gene and that this response could not be enhanced by the addition of oestrogen and thyroid hormone to the culture medium. Explants cultured in the presence of insulin, Cortisol and prolactin also demonstrated the capacity to synthesize the protein. Progesterone did not inhibit the induction of the gene, which is consistent with the increase in β-lactoglobulin mRNA observed in vivo in the mammary gland during the final 2 months of pregnancy when the circulating level of progesterone is elevated.



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Journal of Dairy Research
  • ISSN: 0022-0299
  • EISSN: 1469-7629
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