Expression analysis of the porcine Homeobox A11 gene and its association with litter size in Large White pigs R., Jia H., Chen S., Zhao S. (2016): Expression analysis of the porcine Homeobox A11 gene and its association with litter size in Large White pigs. Czech J. Anim. Sci., 61: 243-249.
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The homeobox A11 (HOXA11) gene, a well-known transcriptional regulator, plays a critical role in normal development of the uterus. In this study, the porcine HOXA11 gene, including its promoter region, was cloned and sequenced (GenBank Accession No. KF724933). Differential expression levels of HOXA11 in the endometrium at one stage of the estrous cycle and three stages of gestation for Meishan and Large White pigs were investigated. Association between the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and litter size was conducted. Results suggested that expression of the HOXA11 gene was the highest on day 15 and decreased on day 26 of gestation, reaching a minimum level of expression on day 50 of gestation in Large White pigs. Expression of the HOXA11 gene tended to be consistent between day 15 of the estrous cycle and day 26 of gestation, and decreased on day 50 of gestation in Meishan pigs. Series deletion analysis and reporter expression assays identified a promoter region of the HOXA11 gene which possessed a five times higher promoter activity than the pGL3-Basic vector. Using comparative sequencing, a candidate SNP (KF724933:g.2325C>A) was identified. In a Large White pig population, this polymorphism was associated with the number of piglets. In a combined analysis containing all parity groups, sows with the AC genotype had greater total number of born (1.80; P < 0.05) and number of born alive (1.82; P < 0.05) piglets compared with the CC genotype sows. These results indicate HOXA11 may play a role in the regulation of embryo implantation in pigs.
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