The Science of Nature

, 105:60 | Cite as

Long noncoding RNA and gene expression analysis of melatonin-exposed Liaoning cashmere goat fibroblasts indicating cashmere growth

  • Mei JinEmail author
  • Ming Cao
  • Qian Cao
  • Jun Piao
  • Fengqin Zhao
  • Jing’ai Piao
Original Paper


Cashmere produced from Liaoning cashmere goat is highly valuable. Melatonin is an important factor affecting cashmere growth and can regulate the growth cycle via effects on gene expression. Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) regulate gene expression, but detailed studies of their effect on hair growth are lacking. To explore how lncRNA mediates the effects of melatonin on cashmere growth, we used RNA-Seq including a control condition (C) and three melatonin treatments (1.0 g/L 24 h (M1_24H), 0.2 g/L 24 h (M2_24H), 0.2 g/L 72 h (M2_72H)). M1_24H, M2_24H, and M2_72H had 32, 10, and 113 differentially expressed lncRNAs, respectively. Gene ontology (GO) and pathway analyses results showed that melatonin was most beneficial to cashmere growth at 0.2 g/L 72 h, and nuclear factor (NF)-κB signaling corresponding to an effect of LncRNA MTC was involved in hair follicle development. We found that melatonin upregulated XLOC_005914 lncRNA (LncRNA MTC). Proliferation increased in the 0.2 g/L 72 h condition and cells with high LncRNA MTC expression, but it was reduced in fibroblasts with knocked down LncRNA MTC expression. This is the first report that LncRNA MTC promotes fibroblast proliferation and regulates hair follicle development and cashmere growth by activating NF-κB signaling.


Long noncoding RNA Melatonin Fibroblast NF-κB signaling Cashmere growth Hair follicle 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant number 31772557; 31172188) and Liaoning Natural Science Foundation of China (grant number 20170540577).

Compliance with ethical standards

The research protocols in this study were approved by the Animal Experiment and Care Committee of Liaoning Normal University.

Conflict of interest

All co-authors have contributed significantly and agreed with the contents of the manuscript. We certify that the submission is an original work and is not under review at any other publication. The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

The research has been approved by the Liaoning Normal University Ethics Committee. The permission for the Liaoning cashmere goats was obtained prior to the study. The Liaoning Provincial Key Laboratory of Biotechnology and Drug Discovery is responsible for ensuring the protection and care of vertebrate animals used in research studies. We must ensure that animal research is conducted according to long-standing ethical principles and federal, state, and university regulations. In addition to the Animal Care and Use guidelines and regulatory information, this site provides access to tools needed to successfully prepare.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study. Additional informed consent was obtained from all individual participants for whom identifying information is included in this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mei Jin
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ming Cao
    • 1
  • Qian Cao
    • 1
  • Jun Piao
    • 1
  • Fengqin Zhao
    • 1
  • Jing’ai Piao
    • 1
  1. 1.Liaoning Provincial Key Laboratory of Biotechnology and Drug Discovery, Department of Life SciencesLiaoning Normal UniversityDalianChina

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