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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 724274, 7 pages
Research Article

Analysis of Differentially Expressed Genes and Signaling Pathways Related to Intramuscular Fat Deposition in Skeletal Muscle of Sex-Linked Dwarf Chickens

1College of Veterinary Medicine, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510642, China
2College of Life Science, Foshan University, Foshan, Guangdong 528231, China

Received 12 October 2013; Revised 7 January 2014; Accepted 10 February 2014; Published 17 March 2014

Academic Editor: Isao Usui

Copyright © 2014 Yaqiong Ye et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Intramuscular fat (IMF) plays an important role in meat quality. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying IMF deposition in skeletal muscle have not been addressed for the sex-linked dwarf (SLD) chicken. In this study, potential candidate genes and signaling pathways related to IMF deposition in chicken leg muscle tissue were characterized using gene expression profiling of both 7-week-old SLD and normal chickens. A total of 173 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified between the two breeds. Subsequently, 6 DEGs related to lipid metabolism or muscle development were verified in each breed based on gene ontology (GO) analysis. In addition, KEGG pathway analysis of DEGs indicated that some of them (GHR, SOCS3, and IGF2BP3) participate in adipocytokine and insulin signaling pathways. To investigate the role of the above signaling pathways in IMF deposition, the gene expression of pathway factors and other downstream genes were measured by using qRT-PCR and Western blot analyses. Collectively, the results identified potential candidate genes related to IMF deposition and suggested that IMF deposition in skeletal muscle of SLD chicken is regulated partially by pathways of adipocytokine and insulin and other downstream signaling pathways (TGF-β/SMAD3 and Wnt/catenin-β pathway).