The APOA2 gene is a protein implicated in triglyceride, fatty acid and glucose metabolism. In pigs, the APOA2 gene is located on pig chromosome 4 (SSC4) in a QTL region affecting fatty acid composition, fatness and growth traits. In this study, we evaluated APOA2 as a candidate gene for meat quality traits in an Iberian x Landrace backcross population. The APOA2:c.131T>A polymorphism, located in exon 3 of APOA2 and determining a missense mutation, was associated with the percentage of hexadecenoic acid [C16:1(n-9)], linoleic acid [C18:2(n-6)], α-linolenic acid [C18:3(n-3)], dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid [C20:3(n-6)] and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) in backfat. Furthermore, this SNP was associated with the global mRNA expression levels of APOA2 in liver and was used as a marker to determine allelic expression imbalance by pyrosequencing. We determined an overexpression of the T allele in heterozygous samples with a mean ratio of 2.8 (T/A), observing a high variability in the allelic expression among individuals. This result suggests that complex regulatory mechanisms, beyond a single polymorphism (e.g. epigenetic effects or multiple cis-acting polymorphisms), may be regulating APOA2 gene expression.
Ballester, M., Revilla, M., Puig-Oliveras, A., Marchesi, J.A.P., Castelló, A., Corominas, J., Fernández, A.I., Folch, J.M. (2016). Analysis of the porcine APOA2 gene expression in liver, polymorphism identification and association with fatty acid composition traits. Animal Genetics, 47(5):552-559. doi: 10.1111/age.12462