Research Article

Molecular cloning, expression and variation analyses of the dopamine D2 receptor gene in pig breeds in China

Published: December 08, 2011
Genet. Mol. Res. 10 (4) : 3371-3384 DOI: 10.4238/2011.December.5.6

Abstract

The dopamine D2 receptor (DRD2) is a crucial mediator for normal physiological processes. We cloned the pig DRD2 gene, investigated its distribution in tissues and identified polymorphisms by RT-PCR, quantitative real-time PCR and direct sequencing. Two Yorkshire pigs from Guangdong Academy of Agricultural Sciences (Guangzhou, China) were selected to clone the gene and investigate its expression; 16 individuals from four pig breeds (Yorkshire, Landrace, small-ear spotted, and Xinchang) were used to scan the variations. The two transcripts (DRD2L and DRD2S), obtained through insertion or deletion of exon 5 and part of 3'UTR, were found to encode 444- and 415-amino acid proteins, respectively. The 574-bp indel in 3'UTR comprises five miRNA targeting sites, based on bioinformatics predictions. The pig DRD2 gene expresses predominantly in the pituitary gland, and then in oviducts and the hypothalamus. Both DRD2L and DRD2S mRNA were detected in cerebrum, cerebellum, hypothalamus, pituitary gland, back muscle, oviduct, uterus, and testis tissues; DRD2L was more abundant than DRD2S. The DRD2 gene is located on chromosome 9 and contains seven exons. Sixty-one different sequences were identified in this gene; among seven in the coding region, only one altered the encoded amino acid. These findings will help us understand the functions of the DRD2 gene in pigs.

The dopamine D2 receptor (DRD2) is a crucial mediator for normal physiological processes. We cloned the pig DRD2 gene, investigated its distribution in tissues and identified polymorphisms by RT-PCR, quantitative real-time PCR and direct sequencing. Two Yorkshire pigs from Guangdong Academy of Agricultural Sciences (Guangzhou, China) were selected to clone the gene and investigate its expression; 16 individuals from four pig breeds (Yorkshire, Landrace, small-ear spotted, and Xinchang) were used to scan the variations. The two transcripts (DRD2L and DRD2S), obtained through insertion or deletion of exon 5 and part of 3'UTR, were found to encode 444- and 415-amino acid proteins, respectively. The 574-bp indel in 3'UTR comprises five miRNA targeting sites, based on bioinformatics predictions. The pig DRD2 gene expresses predominantly in the pituitary gland, and then in oviducts and the hypothalamus. Both DRD2L and DRD2S mRNA were detected in cerebrum, cerebellum, hypothalamus, pituitary gland, back muscle, oviduct, uterus, and testis tissues; DRD2L was more abundant than DRD2S. The DRD2 gene is located on chromosome 9 and contains seven exons. Sixty-one different sequences were identified in this gene; among seven in the coding region, only one altered the encoded amino acid. These findings will help us understand the functions of the DRD2 gene in pigs.