The characterization of the SULT1A1 gene and its variants should have an important impact on the efforts to develop genetic markers to select for low skatole in pigs. Raising intact male pigs would have a significant economic impact on the pork industry; however, the presence of skatole (a major cause of boar taint) in meat from male pigs would be highly objectionable to consumers. It has been shown that the phase II metabolism of skatole metabolites by phenol sulfotransferase is related to the clearance of skatole in the liver. The aim of this study was to isolate and characterize the SULT1A1 gene from pig liver, examine its expression, identify genetic polymorphisms, and study how a genetic variation in this enzyme translates into interindividual variation in skatole levels. We show here that a substitution of A→G at base 546 of SULT1A1 causes a significant decrease in its sulfation activity and thus may be at least partially responsible for a higher level of skatole in pigs. Our findings provide an important basis toward the goal of making it possible to predict the sulfation status in pigs and the development of genetic markers for low skatole.
Mammalian Genome – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 1, 2002
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