MiR-16a Regulates Milk Fat Metabolism by Targeting Large Tumor Suppressor Kinase 1 (LATS1) in Bovine Mammary Epithelial Cells

Zhi Chen, Shuangfeng Chu, Xiaolong Wang, Yujia Sun, Tianle Xu, Yongjiang Mao, Juan J. Loor, Zhangping Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Milk contains a number of beneficial fatty acids including short and medium chain and unsaturated conjugated and nonconjugated fatty acids. In this study, microRNA sequencing of mammary tissue collected in early-, peak-, mid-, and late-lactation periods was performed to determine the miRNA expression profiles. miR-16a was one of the differentially expressed miRNA and was selected for in-depth functional studies pertaining to fatty acid metabolism. The mimic of miR-16a impaired fat metabolism [triacylglycerol (TAG) and cholesterol] while knock-down of miR-16a promoted fat metabolism in vitro in bovine mammary epithelial cells (BMECs). In addition, the in vitro work with BMECs also revealed that miR-16a had a negative effect on the cellular concentration of cis 9-C18:1, total C18:1, C20:1, and C22:1 and long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids. Therefore, these data suggesting a negative effect on fatty acid metabolism extend the discovery of the key role of miR-16a in mediating adipocyte differentiation. Through a combination of bioinformatics analysis, target gene 3′ UTR luciferase reporter assays, and western blotting, we identified large tumor suppressor kinase 1 (LATS1) as a target of miR-16a. Transfection of siRNA-LATS1 into BMECs led to increases in TAG, cholesterol, and cellular fatty acid concentrations, suggesting a positive role of LATS1 in mammary cell fatty acid metabolism. In summary, data suggest that miR-16a regulates biological processes associated with intracellular TAG, cholesterol, and unsaturated fatty acid synthesis through LATS1. These data provide a theoretical and experimental framework for further clarifying the regulation of lipid metabolism in mammary cells of dairy cows.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11167-11178
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number40
StatePublished - Oct 9 2019


  • LATS1
  • dairy cow
  • miR-16a
  • unsaturated fatty acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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