Short tandem repeats and methylation in the promoter region affect expression of cystathionine beta-synthase gene in the laying hen

Rongyan Zhou, Dirk Jan de Koning, Heather McCormack, Peter Wilson, Ian Dunn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Homocysteine can be converted to cysteine via the transsulfuration pathway where cystathionine beta-synthase (CBS) is a rate-limiting enzyme. Homocysteine is thought to play a role in bone remodelling and strength. Previous results indicated that some of the difference in bone strength of end-of-lay hens may be associated with CBS expression level. To investigate if differences in the promoter region of the CBS gene might be responsible for observed differences in gene expression between CBS alleles post mortem- and in-vitro expression studies have been undertaken. Transfection of the DF-1 avian cell line with a series of deletion fragments of the 5′ promoter, or constructs containing three CBS allele sequences, with a luciferase reporter revealed that a core region of −155 to +131 bp in the CBS promoter was essential for mRNA expression. We found that a variable number of short tandem repeats (7 nucleotide motif and 6 nucleotide repeats) in the core region of the promoter affecting the transcriptional activity and a strong effect for gene expression. However, methylation of the 6 nucleotide repeats varied between allelic variants and these maybe responsible for differences in promoter activity. Our findings indicated variable short tandem repeats and the differentially methylated sites in the promoter region may be responsible for CBS expression differences in the bone of laying hens.
Original languageEnglish
JournalGene
Volume710
Early online date28 May 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Aug 2019

Keywords

  • Cystathionine beta-synthase
  • Laying hen
  • Methylation
  • Promoter
  • Short tandem repeat

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