Amino acids are known to play a key role in gene expression regulation. Amino acid signaling is mediated via two pathways: the mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) and the amino acid responsive (AAR) pathways. Cationic amino acid transporters (CATs) are crucial in these pathways due to their sensing, signaling and transport functions. The availability of certain amino acids plays a key role in the intake of other amino acids, hence affecting growth in young birds. However, the specific mechanism for regulating lysine transport for growth is not clear. In this study, we analyze the transcriptome profiles and mRNA expression of selected cationic amino acid transporters in the livers of broilers fed low and high lysine diets. Birds consumed high-lysine (1.42% lysine) or low-lysine (0.85% lysine) diets while the control group consumed 1.14% lysine diet. These concentrations of lysine represent 125% (high lysine), 75% (low lysine) and 100% (control), respectively, of the National Research Council’s (NRC) recommendation for broiler chickens. After comparing the two groups, 210 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified (fold change >1 and false discovery rate (FDR) <0.05). When comparing the high lysine and the low lysine treatments, there were 67 upregulated genes and 143 downregulated genes among these DEGs. Analysis of Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) and the Gene Ontology (GO) enrichment analysis show that cellular growth, lipid metabolism and lysine metabolism pathways were among the significantly enriched pathways. This study contributes to a better understanding of the potential molecular mechanisms underlying the correlation between lysine intake, body weight gain (BWG) and feed intake (FI) in broiler chickens. Moreover, the DEGs obtained in this study may be used as potential candidate genes for further investigation of broiler growth customized responses to individualized nutrients such as amino acids.
Khwatenge, C.N.; Kimathi, B.M.; Nahashon, S.N. Transcriptome Analysis and Expression of Selected Cationic Amino Acid Transporters in the Liver of Broiler Chicken Fed Diets with Varying Concentrations of Lysine. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21, 5594. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21165594