Docosahexaenoic Acid Alters Lipid Metabolism Processes via H3K9ac Epigenetic Modification in Dairy Goat

Jiao Wu, Jun Luo, Qiuya He, Yingying Xia, Huibin Tian, Lu Zhu, Cong Li, Juan J. Loor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Goat milk is increasingly recognized by consumers due to its high nutritional value, richness in short- and medium-chain fatty acids, and richness in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). Exogenous supplementation of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is an important approach to increasing the content of PUFA in goat milk. Several studies have reported benefits of dietary DHA in terms of human health, including potential against chronic diseases and tumors. However, the mechanisms whereby an increased supply of DHA regulates mammary cell function is unknown. In this study, we investigated the effect of DHA on lipid metabolism processes in goat mammary epithelial cells (GMEC) and the function of H3K9ac epigenetic modifications in this process. Supplementation of DHA promoted lipid droplet accumulation increased the DHA content and altered fatty acid composition in GMEC. Lipid metabolism processes were altered by DHA supplementation through transcriptional programs in GMEC. ChIP-seq analysis revealed that DHA induced genome-wide H3K9ac epigenetic changes in GMEC. Multiomics analyses (H3K9ac genome-wide screening and RNA-seq) revealed that DHA-induced expression of lipid metabolism genes (FASN, SCD1, FADS1, FADS2, LPIN1, DGAT1, MBOAT2), which were closely related with changes in lipid metabolism processes and fatty acid profiles, were regulated by modification of H3K9ac. In particular, DHA increased the enrichment of H3K9ac in the promoter region of PDK4 and promoted its transcription, while PDK4 inhibited lipid synthesis and activated AMPK signaling in GMEC. The activation of the expression of fatty acid metabolism-related genes FASN, FADS2, and SCD1 and their upstream transcription factor SREBP1 by the AMPK inhibitor was attenuated in PDK4-overexpressing GMEC. In conclusion, DHA alters lipid metabolism processes via H3K9ac modifications and the PDK4-AMPK-SREBP1 signaling axis in goat mammary epithelial cells, providing new insights into the mechanism through which DHA affects mammary cell function and regulates milk fat metabolism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8527-8539
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number22
StatePublished - Jun 7 2023


  • AMPK
  • DHA
  • H3K9ac modification
  • Lipid metabolism
  • PDK4

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'Docosahexaenoic Acid Alters Lipid Metabolism Processes via H3K9ac Epigenetic Modification in Dairy Goat'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this