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Identification of Susceptibility Genes Underlying Bovine Respiratory Disease in Xinjiang Brown Cattle Based on DNA Methylation

  • Cao, Hang
  • Fang, Chao
  • Liu, Ling-Ling
  • Farnir, Frédéric
  • Liu, Wu-Jun
Publication Date
Apr 30, 2024
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peer reviewed / DNA methylation is a form of epigenetic regulation, having pivotal parts in controlling cellular expansion and expression levels within genes. Although blood DNA methylation has been studied in humans and other species, its prominence in cattle is largely unknown. This study aimed to methodically probe the genomic methylation map of Xinjiang brown (XJB) cattle suffering from bovine respiratory disease (BRD), consequently widening cattle blood methylome ranges. Genome-wide DNA methylation profiling of the XJB blood was investigated through whole-genome bisulfite sequencing (WGBS). Many differentially methylated regions (DMRs) obtained by comparing the cases and controls groups were found within the CG, CHG, and CHH (where H is A, T, or C) sequences (16,765, 7502, and 2656, respectively), encompassing 4334 differentially methylated genes (DMGs). Furthermore, GO/KEGG analyses showed that some DMGs were involved within immune response pathways. Combining WGBS-Seq data and existing RNA-Seq data, we identified 71 significantly differentially methylated (DMGs) and expressed (DEGs) genes (p < 0.05). Next, complementary analyses identified nine DMGs (LTA, STAT3, IKBKG, IRAK1, NOD2, TLR2, TNFRSF1A, and IKBKB) that might be involved in the immune response of XJB cattle infected with respiratory diseases. Although further investigations are needed to confirm their exact implication in the involved immune processes, these genes could potentially be used for a marker-assisted selection of animals resistant to BRD. This study also provides new knowledge regarding epigenetic control for the bovine respiratory immune process.

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