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Int J Mol Sci. 2012;13(6):7098-108. doi: 10.3390/ijms13067098. Epub 2012 Jun 8.

Genome-wide DNA methylation changes between the superficial and deep backfat tissues of the pig.

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Institute of Animal Genetics & Breeding, College of Animal Science & Technology, Sichuan Agricultural University, Ya'an 625000, China; E-Mails: (M.L.); (T.W.); (J.Z.); (C.Z.); (A.J.).


Adipose tissue is not only a storage organ involved in fuel metabolism, but also an endocrine organ involved in the regulation of insulin sensitivity, thermogenesis, immunity, and inflammation. There are anatomical, cellular, molecular and physiological differences among adipose tissues deposited in different body sites. However, current understanding of the intrinsic differences between the sub-compartments of the subcutaneous adipose tissue remains rudimentary. Here, we analyzed the genome-wide DNA methylation differences between the porcine superficial and deep backfat tissues using methylated DNA immunoprecipitation combined with high-throughput sequencing. We show that the genes with differentially methylated regions in their promoter are mainly involved in the processes of "lipid metabolism" and "regulation of immune-related cytokines". Compared with the deep backfat tissue, the promoters of genes related to the 'positive regulation of cytokine production' were significantly hypermethylated in the superficial backfat tissue, which reflects the intrinsic functional and metabolic differences between the sub-compartments of the subcutaneous adipose tissue. This study provides epigenetic evidence for functionally relevant methylation differences between different layers of porcine backfat tissues.


DNA methylation; adipose; deep backfat; pig; superficial backfat

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