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Title: Marek's disease virus challenge induced immune-related gene expression and chicken repeat 1 (CR1) methylation alterations in chickens

item FEI, TIAN - University Of Maryland
item LUO, JUAN - University Of Maryland
item Zhang, Huanmin
item CHANG, SHUANG - Michigan State University
item SONG, JIUZHOU - University Of Maryland

Submitted to: American Journal of Molecular Biology (AJMB)
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/24/2012
Publication Date: 7/1/2012
Citation: Fei, T., Luo, J., Zhang, H., Chang, S., Song, J. 2012. Marek's disease virus challenge induced immune-related gene expression and chicken repeat 1 (CR1) methylation alterations in chickens. American Journal of Molecular Biology (AJMB). 2(2012):232-241. Available:

Interpretive Summary: Marek’s disease (MD) is an avian herpesvirus-induced cancerous disease, which is highly infectious and potentially detrimental to poultry industry. To augment the control measure of vaccination against MD, genetic resistance of chickens to MD has been actively investigated to search for genetic factors underlying the resistance in chickens. This study identified novel genetic differences between MD resistant and susceptible lines of chickens in a small unique segment of chicken DNA, commonly referred to as Chicken Repeat 1 (CR1) by the research community. Data from this study also suggested that the identified genetic differences may potentially have some influence on levels of gene expression, and consequently, contribute to MD resistance or susceptibility in chickens.

Technical Abstract: Marek’s disease virus (MDV) challenge induces lymphoma in susceptible chickens. Host genes, especially immune related genes, are activated by the virus. DNA methylation is an epigenetic mechanism that governs gene transcription. In the present study, we found that expression of signal transducer and activa-tor of transcription 1 (STAT1) was upregulated at 10 days post infection (dpi) in MD susceptible chickens, whereas interleukin 12A (IL12A) was elevated in both resistant and susceptible chickens. However, we did not observe MDV-induced DNA methylation varia-tions at the promoter CpG islands (CGIs) in STAT1 and IL12A. Interestingly, the methylation levels at Chicken Repeat 1 (CR1), the transposable elements (TEs) located upstream of two genes, were different between resistant and susceptible chickens. Further-more, a mutation was identified in the CR1 element near IL12A. The impact of the point mutation in transcriptional factor binding is to be examined in the near future.