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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Differential expression of the skeletal muscle proteome in grazed cattle.

The objective of this study was to investigate the differences in the muscle proteome of grass-fed and grain-fed cattle. Eight Japanese Black Cattle 10 mo of age were separated randomly into 2 groups: 1) grazing (grass-fed) and 2) concentrate (grain-fed) groups. All cattle were first housed individually in a stall barn and fed a combination of concentrate ad libitum and Italian ryegrass hay until 21 mo of age. After this control period, the 4 grass-fed cattle were placed on outdoor pasture, whereas the other 4 grain-fed cattle continued on the concentrate diet. The cattle were slaughtered at 27 mo of age, and tissues from the semitendinosus muscle were obtained for use in proteome analysis. Differential expression of muscle proteins in the 2 groups was carried out using 2-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2DE) and Western blot analyses, with subsequent mass spectrometry. Approximately 200 individual protein spots were detected and compared in each group using 2DE, of which 20 and 9 spots, respectively, showed differences in the spot intensity for the sarcoplasmic fraction and myofibrillar fraction. In the grazing group, the relative intensity of spots was significantly greater for adenylate kinase 1 and myoglobin in the sarcoplasmic fraction, and for slow-twitch myosin light chain 2 in the myofibrillar fraction (P < 0.05), than the concentrate group. The relative spot intensity of several glycolytic enzymes was significantly greater in the grazing group, such as beta-enolase 3, fructose-1,6-bisphosphate aldolase A, triosephosphate isomerase, and heat shock 27 kDa protein (P < 0.05). Moreover, significantly greater slow twitch of troponin T, troponin I, and myosin heavy chain of semitendinosus muscle was detected in the grazing group than in the concentrate group using Western blot analysis (P < 0.05). Several previous reports have described that the slow-twitch muscle contents affect elements of nutrition, flavor, and food texture of meat. This study revealed muscle fiber type conversion to slow-twitch tissues from fast-twitch tissues occurring with change in the energy metabolic enzyme when cattle were grazed in the latter fattening period. Although analyses of the influence on elements of nutrition, flavor, and food texture were not done for this study, these results show that slow-twitch converted muscle resulting from the grazing of cattle might modify several meat characteristics.[1]


  1. Differential expression of the skeletal muscle proteome in grazed cattle. Shibata, M., Matsumoto, K., Oe, M., Ohnishi-Kameyama, M., Ojima, K., Nakajima, I., Muroya, S., Chikuni, K. J. Anim. Sci. (2009) [Pubmed]
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