Two different phenotypes are described in alpaca, identified as suri and huacaya, which differ in the type of fleece. The huacaya fleece is characterized by compact, soft and highly crimped fibers, while the suri fleece is longer, straight, less-crimped and lustrous. In our study, the Fibroblast growth factor 5 (FGF5) was investigated as a possible candidate gene for hair length in alpaca (Vicugna pacos). As previously identified in other mammals, our results show that the alpaca FGF5 gene gives rise to a short (FGF5S) and a long (FGF5) isoform. Interestingly, in the long isoform, we observed a point mutation (i.e., a transition C > T at position 499 downstream of the ATG codon) that is able to generate a premature termination codon (PTC). The highly conserved nucleotide and amino acid sequence after PTC suggested a readthrough event (RT) that was confirmed by western blot analysis. The analysis of cDNA sequence revealed motifs and structures of mRNA undergoing RT. In fact, the event is positively influenced by particular signals harbored by the transcript. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first case of a readthrough event on PTC reported for the FGF5 gene and the first case of this translational mechanism in alpaca.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
Pallotti, S., Pediconi, D., Subramanian, D., Molina, M. G., Antonini, M., Morelli, M. B., Renieri, C., & La Terza, A. (2018). Evidence of post-transcriptional readthrough regulation in FGF5 gene of alpaca. Gene, 647, 121 - 128. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gene.2018.01.006