Fatty acid composition plays a key role in regulating flavor and quality of milk. Therefore, in order to improve milk quality, it is particularly important to investigate regulatory mechanisms of milk fatty acid metabolism. Circular RNAs (circRNAs) regulate expression genes associated with several biological processes including fatty acid metabolism. In this study, high-throughput sequencing was used to detect differentially expressed genes in bovine mammary tissue at early lactation and peak lactation. Circ09863 profiles were influenced by the lactation stage. Functional studies in bovine mammary epithelial cells (BMECs) revealed that circ09863 promotes triglyceride (TAG) synthesis together with increased content of unsaturated fatty acids (C16:1 and C18:1). These results suggested that circ09863 is partly responsible for modulating fatty acid metabolism. Additionally, software prediction identified a miR-27a-3p binding site in the circ09863 sequence. Overexpression of miR-27a-3p in BMECs led to decreased TAG synthesis. However, overexpression of circ09863 (pcDNA-circ09863) in BMECs significantly reduced expression of miR-27a-3p and enhanced gene expression of fatty acid synthase (FASN), a target of miR-27a-3p. Overall, data suggest that circ09863 relieves the inhibitory effect of miR-27a-3p on FASN expression by binding miR-27a-3p and subsequently regulating TAG synthesis and fatty acid composition. Together, these mechanisms provide new research avenues and theoretical bases to improve milk quality.
- bovine mammary epithelial cells
- fatty acid metabolism
- fatty acid synthase
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)