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Identification of Allelic Polymorphism in the Ovine Leptin Gene


Leptin is an adipocyte-derived hormone/cytokine that influences the physiological control of numerous biological functions and links nutritional status with both neuroendocrine and immune functions. In livestock, variation in the leptin (LEP) gene has been characterized in cattle and pig, but it has not been reported in sheep. In this study, variation in the exon 3 coding sequence of the ovine LEP gene was investigated by polymerase chain reaction–single-strand conformational polymorphism (PCR–SSCP) analysis and DNA sequencing. Five novel SSCP patterns, representing five different sequences, were identified under a combination of two different electrophoresis conditions. Either one or two different sequences were detected in individual sheep and all the sequences identified shared high homology with the LEP sequences from a variety of species, suggesting that these sequences represent alleles of the ovine LEP gene. Four single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were detected, and three of these resulted in amino acid changes. Variation detected here might have an impact on leptin activity and function.

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We thank Q. Fang and S. O. Byun for the technical assistance, and the Gene-Marker Laboratory for financial support.

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Correspondence to Jon G. H. Hickford.

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Zhou, H., Hickford, J.G.H. & Gong, H. Identification of Allelic Polymorphism in the Ovine Leptin Gene. Mol Biotechnol 41, 22–25 (2009).

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  • Leptin (LEP)
  • Allele
  • Polymorphism
  • Sheep