Two Retrotransposon Elements in Intron of Porcine BMPR1B Is Associated with Phenotypic Variation

Life (Basel). 2022 Oct 20;12(10):1650. doi: 10.3390/life12101650.


It has been established that through binding to bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs), bone morphogenetic protein receptor I B (BMPR1B) can mediate transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) signal transduction, and is involved in the regulation of several biological processes, such as bone and muscle formation and homeostasis, as well as folliculogenesis. Also known as FecB, BMPR1B has been reported as the major gene for sheep prolificacy. A number of previous studies have analyzed the relationship between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in this gene and its related performance. In recent years, with the illustration of the effect of retrotransposon insertion on the expression of the proximal genes or phenotypic variation, retrotransposon insertion polymorphisms (RIPs) have been used as a novel type of molecular marker in the evaluation of evolution, population structure and breeding of plant and domestic animals. In this study, the RIPs in porcine BMPR1B gene were excavated, and thereafter verified using a comparative genome and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The potential effects of phenotype, gene expression and functions related to RIPs were also explored. The results showed that 13 distinct RIPs were identified in introns of porcine BMPR1B. Among these, only BMPR1B-SINE-RIP9 and BMPR1B-LINE-RIP13 displayed a close relationship with the growth traits of Large White pigs. Moreover, the total number of BMPR1B-SINE+/+-RIP9 individuals born was found to be significantly higher than that of SINE−/− (p < 0.05). These two RIPs showed an obvious distribution pattern among Chinese indigenous breeds and Western commercial breeds. The expression of BMPR1B in ovaries of adult BMPR1B-SINE+/+-RIP9 Sushan pigs was found to be significantly higher in comparison to those of BMPR1B-SINE−/−-RIP9 (p < 0.05). SINE insertion of BMPR1B-SINE-RIP9 and LINE insertion of BMPR1B-LINE-RIP13 were observed to significantly increase the activity of Octamer binding transcription factor 4 (OCT4) minipromoter in CHO and C2C12 cells (p < 0.01). Therefore, these two RIPs could serve as useful molecular markers for modulating the growth or reproductive traits in assisted selection of pig breeding, while the mechanisms of the insertion function should be studied further.

Keywords: BMPR1B; RIPs; phenotype; pig; repressor.

Grants and funding

This research was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant numbers 31872977 to Chengyi Song and 32002146 to Cai Chen); the Independent Innovation Fund Project of Agricultural Science and Technology in Jiangsu Province (CX(19)2016) to Chengyi Song; the Revitalization of Seed Industry (JBGS) in Jiangsu Province (JBGS(2021)028) to Chengyi Song; the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions; and the High-End Talent Support Program of Yangzhou University to Chengyi Song.