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Vitagenes in poultry production: Part 3. Vitagene concept development

  • P.F. SURAI (a1) (a2) (a3) (a4) (a5) and V.I. FISININ (a5) (a6)


Commercial poultry production is associated with four major types of stresses, including environmental, technological, nutritional and internal stresses, affecting productive and reproductive performance of birds and their health status. It has been suggested that at the molecular level most stresses are associated with overproduction of free radicals and oxidative stress. Therefore, the development of the effective antioxidant solutions to decrease negative consequences of commercially-relevant stresses is an important task for poultry scientists. One approach is based on possibilities of modulation of vitagenes, a family of genes responsible for animal/poultry adaptation to stress. In fact, the vitagene network includes heat shock proteins (HSPs), thioredoxin system, sirtuins and superoxide dismutases (SOD) and plays a regulatory role in most important cellular processes in stress conditions. Indeed, HSPs, including haem oxygenase-1 (HO-1) and HSP70, are responsible for protein homeostasis in stress conditions, while the thioredoxin system is the major player in maintaining redox status of the cell involved in protein and DNA synthesis and repair as well as in regulation of expression of many important genes. Furthermore, sirtuins regulate the biological functions of various molecules post-translationally by removing acetyl groups from protein substrates ranging from histones to transcription factors and orchestrate cellular stress response by maintenance of genome integrity and protein stability. Finally, SOD belong to the first level of antioxidant defence preventing lipid and protein oxidation at the very early stages. All vitagenes operate in concert building a reliable system of stress detection and adequate response and are considered to be key elements in stress adaptation. Indeed, further work is required to understand molecular mechanisms of the interactions of vitagenes with various signalling pathways and transcription factors in the cell to build an effective adaptive response to minimise the detrimental consequences of commercially-relevant stresses in poultry production.


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World's Poultry Science Journal
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