Phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) suppresses triacylglycerol accumulation and monounsaturated fatty acid synthesis in goat mammary epithelial cells

D. W. Yao, J. Ma, C. L. Yang, L. L. Chen, Q. Y. He, D. N. Coleman, T. Z. Wang, X. L. Jiang, J. Luo, Y. Ma, J. J. Loor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) is a well-known tumor suppressor in nonruminants and regulates various cellular processes including growth through dephosphorylation of phosphoinositide substrates. Although studies with bovine mammary tissue suggested a role for PTEN during lactation, its potential role in lipid metabolism remains unknown. Objectives of the present study were to determine PTEN abundance in goat mammary tissue at 2 stages of lactation (n = 6 Xinong Saanen dairy goats per stage), and to use gene-silencing and adenoviral transfections in vitro with isolated goat mammary epithelial cells (GMEC) to evaluate the role of PTEN abundance of lipid metabolism-related genes. Abundance of PTEN decreased by 51.5% at peak lactation compared with the dry period. The PTEN was overexpressed in isolated GMEC through adenoviral transfection using an adenovirus system with Ad-GFP (recombinant adenovirus of green fluorescent protein) as control, and silenced via targeted small interfering RNA (siRNA) transfection with a scrambled small interfering RNA as a negative control. Cell culture was performed for 48 h before RNA extraction, triacylglycerol (TAG) analysis, and fatty acid analysis. Overexpression of PTEN downregulated abundance of acetyl-coenzyme A carboxylase α (ACACA), fatty acid synthase (FASN), sterol regulatory element binding transcription factor1 (SREBF1), stearoyl-coenzyme A desaturase 1 (SCD1), diacylglycerol acytransferase 1 (DGAT1), 1-acylglycerol-3-phosphate O-acyltransferase 6 (AGPAT6) coupled with an increase in patatin-like-phospholipase domain containing 2 (PNPLA2), hormone-sensitive lipase (LIPE), and carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1 β (CPT1B). Furthermore, overexpressing PTEN in vitro resulted in a significant decrease in TAG concentration and concentration of C16:1. In contrast, interference of PTEN led to an opposite effect on lipid metabolism in GMEC. These changes suggested a shift from lipogenesis and esterification to lipolysis and fatty acid oxidation. Collectively, PTEN seems to play a role in monounsaturated fatty acids synthesis and lipid accumulation in GMEC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7283-7294
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • dairy nutrition
  • fatty acid composition
  • lipid metabolism
  • milk fat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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