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Anim Genet. 2015 Apr;46(2):133-40. doi: 10.1111/age.12275. Epub 2015 Feb 18.

PU.1 antisense lncRNA against its mRNA translation promotes adipogenesis in porcine preadipocytes.

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Laboratory of Animal Fat Deposition & Muscle Development, College of Animal Science and Technology, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi, 712100, China.


Antisense long non-coding RNAs (AS lncRNAs) play important roles in refined regulation of animal gene expression. However, their functions and molecular mechanisms for domestic animal adipogenesis are largely unknown. Here, we found a novel AS lncRNA transcribed from the porcine PU.1 gene (also known as SPI1) by strand-specific RT-PCR. Results showed that PU.1 AS lncRNA was expressed and generally lower than the level of PU.1 mRNA in porcine subcutaneous adipose, heart, liver, spleen, lympha, skeletal muscle and kidney tissues. We further found that the levels of PU.1 mRNA and PU.1 protein were significantly lower in subcutaneous and intermuscular adipose than in mesenteric and greater omentum adipose, whereas the levels of PU.1 AS lncRNA showed no difference in porcine adipose tissues from four different parts of the body. During porcine adipogenesis, levels of PU.1 mRNA increased at day 2 and then gradually decreased. Meanwhile, PU.1 AS lncRNA exhibited an expression trend similar to PU.1 mRNA but sharply decreased after day 2. Interestingly, PU.1 protein level rose during differentiation. In addition, at day 6 after differentiation, knockdown of endogenous PU.1 promoted adipogenesis, whereas knockdown of endogenous PU.1 AS lncRNA had the opposite effect. Moreover, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARG) and fatty acid synthase (FASN) were significantly upregulated in the PU.1 shRNA treatment group (P < 0.05), whereas they were downregulated in the PU.1 AS shRNA treatment group (P < 0.05). Adipose triglyceride lipase [ATGL; also known as patatin-like phospholipase domain containing 2 (PNPLA2)] and hormone-sensitive lipase [HSL; also known as lipase, hormone-sensitive (LIPE)] contrasted with PPARG and FASN. Finally, the PU.1 mRNA/PU.1 AS lncRNA duplex was detected by an endogenous ribonuclease protection assay combined with RT-PCR. Based on the above results, we suggest that PU.1 AS lncRNA (vs. its mRNA translation) promotes adipogenesis through the formation of a sense-antisense RNA duplex with PU.1 mRNA.


RNA duplex; SPI1; differentiation; long non-coding RNA; pig; translation

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