Molecular cloning, expression and functional characterization of the cytochrome P450 2A6 gene in pig liver*


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Abstract

SummaryRaising intact male pigs would have a significant economic impact on the pork industry because intact males have improved feed efficiency and a greater lean yield of the carcass compared with barrows. However, the presence of skatole, a major cause of boar taint, in meat from intact male pigs could be highly objectionable to consumers. It has been shown that CYP2A6 is a key enzyme in the hepatic metabolism of skatole and that the activity of CYP2A6 is negatively correlated with skatole accumulation in fat. The aim of this study was to isolate and characterize CYP2A6 from pig liver, as well as identify genetic polymorphisms in the CYP2A6 gene, and examine the association between these polymorphisms and skatole level. We identified a single base deletion in CYP2A6, resulting in a frame shift in the coding region that produces a non-functional enzyme, which was associated with high levels of skatole in fat tissue.

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