Identification of alternative splicing events related to fatty liver formation in duck using full-length transcripts

Yiming Wang, Linfei Song, Mengfei Ning, Jiaxiang Hu, Hanhu Cai, Weitao Song, Daoqing Gong, Long Liu, Jacqueline Smith, Huifang Li, Yinhua Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

BACKGROUND: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is one of most common diseases in the world. Recently, alternative splicing (AS) has been reported to play a key role in NAFLD processes in mammals. Ducks can quickly form fatty liver similar to human NAFLD after overfeeding and restore to normal liver in a short time, suggesting that ducks are an excellent model to unravel molecular mechanisms of lipid metabolism for NAFLD. However, how alternative splicing events (ASEs) affect the fatty liver process in ducks is still unclear.

RESULTS: Here we identify 126,277 unique transcripts in liver tissue from an overfed duck (77,237 total transcripts) and its sibling control (69,618 total transcripts). We combined these full-length transcripts with Illumina RNA-seq data from five pairs of overfed ducks and control individuals. Full-length transcript sequencing provided us with structural information of transcripts and Illumina RNA-seq data reveals the expressional profile of each transcript. We found, among these unique transcripts, 30,618 were lncRNAs and 1,744 transcripts including 155 lncRNAs and 1,589 coding transcripts showed significantly differential expression in liver tissues between overfed ducks and control individuals. We also detected 27,317 ASEs and 142 of them showed significant relative abundance changes in ducks under different feeding conditions. Full-length transcript profiles together with Illumina RNA-seq data demonstrated that 10 genes involving in lipid metabolism had ASEs with significantly differential abundance in normally fed (control) and overfed ducks. Among these genes, protein products of five genes (CYP4F22, BTN, GSTA2, ADH5, and DHRS2 genes) were changed by ASEs.

CONCLUSIONS: This study presents an example of how to identify ASEs related to important biological processes, such as fatty liver formation, using full-length transcripts alongside Illumina RNA-seq data. Based on these data, we screened out ASEs of lipid-metabolism related genes which might respond to overfeeding. Our future ability to explore the function of genes showing AS differences between overfed ducks and their sibling controls, using genetic manipulations and co-evolutionary studies, will certainly extend our knowledge of genes related to the non-pathogenic fatty liver process.

Original languageEnglish
Article number92
Pages (from-to)1-13
JournalBMC Genomics
Issue number1
Early online date1 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • full-length transcripts sequencing duck
  • fatty liver
  • alternative splicing


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