Submitted to: Journal of Animal Science Supplement
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: February 15, 2001
Publication Date: December 20, 2001
Citation: Kim, J.G., Vallet, J.L., Rohrer, G.A., Christenson, R.K. 2001. Characterization of uterine porcine amphiregulin [abstract]. Journal of Animal Science. 79(Supplement 2):90. (Abstract No. 261) Technical Abstract: Uterine capacity is a component trait contributing to litter size in swine. Gene mapping analyses revealed a quantitative trait locus (QTL) for uterine capacity located on chromosome 8. Comparison to the human gene map suggests that the amphiregulin gene may be located in or near the region of the uterine capacity QTL. Amphiregulin is a member of the epidermal growth factor (EGF) family and binds to EGF receptor. The objective of this study was to clone amphiregulin cDNA and map amphiregulin gene. Using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and iterative screening of an expressed sequence tag library, we obtained two forms of amphiregulin cDNA, consisting of 1118 and 1230 bp. The difference between the two forms was a 112 bp deletion corresponding to human exon 5, which codes for the cytoplasmic domain of amphiregulin. The deletion caused a frame shift, which results in a stop codon at the end of the transmembrane domain corresponding to human exon 4. Using RT-PCR analysis, both forms of amphiregulin were present in the endometrium of day 30 pregnant White crossbred and Meishan pigs (n=4 ea). However, the short form appears to be the predominant form. Thus the predominant form in porcine endometrium does not contain the cytoplasmic domain. Because the cytoplasmic domain is known to affect signal transduction, this deletion may influence the function of amphiregulin. Sequences of positive clones from a porcine bacteriophage artificial chromosome (BAC) library contained exon 5 indicating that the deletion in the cDNA was likely caused by differential splicing. Using 3 microsatellite markers from BAC clones, amphiregulin was mapped to 65 cM on chromosome 8 in the uterine capacity QTL. These novel findings may provide insight into the function of amphiregulin during pregnancy in pigs.