MicroRNA-106b Regulates Milk Fat Metabolism via ATP Binding Cassette Subfamily A Member 1 (ABCA1) in Bovine Mammary Epithelial Cells

Zhi Chen, Shuangfeng Chu, Xiaolong Wang, Yongliang Fan, Tiayin Zhan, Abdelaziz Adam Idriss Arbab, Mingxun Li, Huimin Zhang, Yongjiang Mao, Juan J. Loor, Zhangping Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Research on the mechanisms that regulate milk fat synthesis in dairy cows is essential to identify potential molecular targets that in the long term can help develop appropriate molecular breeding programs. Although some studies have revealed that microRNA (miRNA) affect lipid metabolism by targeting specific genes, joint analysis of miRNA and target mRNA data from bovine mammary tissue has revealed few clues regarding the underlying mechanisms controlling milk fat synthesis. The objective of the present study was to use high-throughput sequencing and bioinformatics analysis to identify miRNA and mRNA pairs and explore further their potential roles in regulating milk fat synthesis. A total of 233 pairs of negatively associated miRNA and mRNA pairs were detected. Among those, there were 162 pairs in which the miRNAs were down-regulated and the target mRNAs were up-regulated. Among the identified miRNA, miR-106b can bind the 3′-UTR of the ATP binding cassette subfamily A member 1 (ABCA1), a gene previously identified as having a positive association with bovine milk fat synthesis. The overexpression of miR-106b in bovine mammary epithelial cells caused a decrease in triglyceride and cholesterol content while the inhibition of miR-106b increased triglyceride and cholesterol content, confirming its role in lipid metabolism. The present study allowed for the construction of a miR-106b-ABCA1 regulatory network map, thus providing a theoretical basis to target this gene in the molecular breeding of dairy cows.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3981-3990
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number14
StatePublished - Apr 10 2019


  • ABCA1
  • bovine mammary epithelial cells
  • miR-106b
  • milk fat metabolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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