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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Rapid Communication: Linkage Mapping of the Porcine Micromolar Calcium Activated Neutral Protease 1 (Ucalpain) Gene on Ssc2

item Smith, Timothy
item Rohrer, Gary

Submitted to: Journal of Animal Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 23, 2000
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: The primary determinant of meat tenderness is the extent of proteolytic breakdown of muscle fiber that occurs during the post-slaughter aging period. A calcium-dependent protease called mucalpain, a product of the CAPN1 gene, is the primary enzyme involved with this breakdown. This appears to be the reason that calcium injection of meat increases tenderization. We have cloned the porcine CAPN1 gene and developed a genetic marker to place it on the swine map, which will facilitate genetic studies to determine if variation at this gene contributes to variation in pork tenderness. Previous studies in cattle have demonstrated that the bovine CAPN1 gene lies on a part of the cattle genome that can affect beef tenderness, and we would like to examine the possibility that this hypothesis can be extended to pigs.

Technical Abstract: Polymorphism in the porcine micromolar calcium activated neutral protease 1 (CAPN1) gene was detected by sequencing intron 1 from the parents of the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (MARC) reference mapping population. Informative litters were genotyped and the data analyzed to map porcine CAPN1 to the p arm of swine chromosome 2. CAPN1 is the primary protease responsible for breakdown of muscle fibers associated with postmortem tenderization of meat, and is therefore an important enzyme controlling meat tenderness. Mapping of this gene will support association studies to assess the possibility that allelic variation in the porcine CAPN1 gene might contribute to phenotypic variation in meat quality.

Last Modified: 4/22/2015