Submitted to: Brain Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 19, 2009
Publication Date: May 7, 2009
Citation: Yu, Y., Zhang, H.M., Byerly, M.S., Bacon, L.D., Porter, T.E., Liu, G.E., Song, J. 2009. Alternative Splicing Variants and DNA Methylation Status of BDNF in Inbred Chicken Lines. Brain Research. 1269(7):1-10. Interpretive Summary: Generally speaking, a gene produces a message, which subsequently provides precise instruction to build a single protein that the gene is genetically programmed for. The messages of some genes, however, are subjected to alterations. Therefore, each of these genes’ messages is altered to produce more than one product, and carry out different biological functions. A gene, known as brain derived neurotropic factor, was identified as one of these genes in human, rat, mouse, pig and now in two highly inbred chicken lines, 63 and 72. The functionality of this gene in cholesterol metabolism and tumorigenesis of Marek’s disease is discussed.
Technical Abstract: Brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) plays essential roles in neuronal survival and differentiation, synaptic plasticity, central regulation of energy homeostasis, and neuronal development of the central and peripheral nerve system. Here, we report two new splicing variants of the chicken BDNF gene via comparative genomics demonstrating the structure and tissue-specific expression of the variants observed in two highly inbred lines (63 and 72) of chickens. One of the variants may relate to alterations in cholesterol metabolism. Co-expression of the BDNF variant and altered cholesterol metabolism may be two genetic factors that regulate resistance in development of Marek’s disease tumors. These observations suggest that BNDF may be involved in tumorigenesis of neoplastic diseases in general.