Gene networks driving bovine mammary protein synthesis during the lactation cycle

Bioinform Biol Insights. 2011:5:83-98. doi: 10.4137/BBI.S7003. Epub 2011 May 4.


A crucial role for both insulin and mTOR in the regulation of milk protein synthesis is emerging. Bovine mammary biopsies harvested during late-pregnancy through end of subsequent lactation were used to evaluate via quantitative PCR the expression of 44 genes involved in pathways of insulin, mTOR, AMPK, and Jak2-Stat5 signalling and also glucose and amino acid (AA) transporters. We observed an increased expression during lactation of ELF5, AA and glucose transporters, insulin signaling pathway components, MAPK14, FRAP1, EIF4EBP2, GSK3A and TSC1 among mTOR signaling-related genes. Among ribosomal components RPL22 was down-regulated. The overall data support a central role of AA and glucose transporters and insulin signaling through mTOR for the regulation of protein synthesis in bovine mammary gland. Furthermore, the existence of translational competition favoring the translation of milk protein transcripts was inferred from the combined dataset.

Keywords: bovine mammary; insulin signaling; mTOR; protein synthesis; qPCR.