Effects of dietary L-arginine levels on small intestine protein turnover and the expression of genes related to protein synthesis and proteolysis of layers
The aim of this study was to test the effects of dietary L-arginine (Arg) levels on protein turnover in the small intestine and the expression of genes related to protein synthesis and proteolysis of laying hens. Xinyang Black commercial laying hens (n = 864, aged 217 d) were randomly distributed to 6 treatments with 4 replicates of 36 birds. The dietary treatments were corn-corn gluten meal based diets containing 0.64, 0.86, 1.03, 1.27, 1.42 and 1.66% L-Arg, respectively. Fractional protein synthesis rate (FSR) and fractional protein gain rate (FGR) in the jejunum were the highest in the 1.27% L-Arg group. The mRNA expression of target of rapamycin (TOR), ribosomal protein S6 kinase 1 (S6K1), and eukaryotic initiation factor 4E-binding protein 1 (4E-BP1) in the duodenum reached the highest in the 1.27% L-Arg group, while the mRNA expression of 20S proteasome (20S) was the lowest in the 1.27% L-Arg group. The mRNA abundances of TOR and S6K1 in the jejunum were the highest in the 1.27% L-Arg group, while the mRNA expression of 20S was the lowest in the 1.27% L-Arg group, and the protein expression and phosphorylation levels of TOR in the 1.27% L-Arg group were higher than those in the 0.64% L-Arg group. These results indicate that the action of an appropriate level of dietary L-Arg to improve the protein synthesis of the small intestine involves up-regulating the protein expression and phosphorylation level of TOR in the jejunum accompanied by inhibiting the mRNA expression of 20S of laying hens.