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PLoS One. 2012;7(4):e35761. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0035761. Epub 2012 Apr 20.

Priority in selenium homeostasis involves regulation of SepSecS transcription in the chicken brain.

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  • 1College of Veterinary Medicine, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, People's Republic of China.


O-phosphoseryl-tRNA:selenocysteinyl-tRNA synthase (SepSecS) is critical for the biosynthesis and transformation of selenocysteine (Sec) and plays an important role in the biological function of Se through the regulation of selenoprotein synthesis. Selenium (Se) and Selenoprotein play a pivotal role in brain function. However, how intake of the micronutrient Se affects gene expression and how genetic factors influence Se metabolism in the brain is unknown. To investigate the regulation of SepSecS transcription induced by Se in the chicken brain, we determined the Se content of brain tissue, SepSecS gene expression levels and mRNA stability in the chicken brain and primary cultured chicken embryos neurons receiving Se supplements. These results showed that Se content in the brain remains remarkably stable during Se supplementation. A significant increase in SepSecS mRNA levels was observed in all of the brain tissues of chickens fed diets containing 1-5 mg/kg sodium selenite. Most strikingly, significant changes in SepSecS mRNA levels were not observed in neurons treated with Se. However, Se altered the SepSecS mRNA half-life in cells. These data suggest that Se could regulate SepSecS mRNA stability in the avian brain and that SepSecS plays an important role in Se homeostasis regulation.

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