We report the cloning and initial characterization of the genes encoding DGAT2 (diacylglycerol transferase 2), MOGAT1 and MOGAT2 (monoacylglycerol transferases 1 and 2) in domestic cattle (Bos taurus). The three closely related genes belong to a gene family with at least eight members in mammals and are candidate genes for quantitative traits related to dietary fat uptake, lipid synthesis and storage. MOGAT2 and DGAT2 form a tandem and were mapped to bovine chromosome (BTA) 15q25-->q26 by fluorescence in situ hybridization. MOGAT1 was localized to BTA 2q43-->q44. The three genes were investigated for polymorphisms that might be associated with breeding values for milk fat percentage in the dairy breeds German Holstein, German Simmental and German Brown. All the detected polymorphisms were located outside exons or, with one exception, were silent. In MOGAT1, a missense mutation in exon 4 was found that causes a non-conservative substitution of cysteine170 (uncharged, hydrophobic) by lysine (positively charged, hydrophilic). However, allele frequency estimates from pooled DNA samples revealed no significant association of the observed polymorphisms with breeding values for milk fat percentage. A comparative analysis of chromosomal locations and exon-intron structure of the known members of the DGAT2/MOGAT gene family in humans, rodents and cattle indicates an ancient tandem duplication of the ancestor gene combined with an intron gain (or loss) in one copy. Further members of the family may have arisen by duplications of this gene tandem via two rounds of interchromosomal or genome duplications as well as further local (single) gene duplication and loss events.
Copyright 2003 S. Karger AG, Basel