Biosynthesis of milk fat, protein, and lactose: roles of transcriptional and posttranscriptional regulation.

TitleBiosynthesis of milk fat, protein, and lactose: roles of transcriptional and posttranscriptional regulation.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsOsorio, JS, Lohakare, J, Bionaz, M
JournalPhysiol Genomics
Date Published2016 Apr
KeywordsAnimals, Cattle, Epigenesis, Genetic, Fatty Acids, Gene Expression Regulation, Gene Regulatory Networks, Glycolipids, Glycoproteins, Humans, Lactose, Milk, Milk Proteins, Sterol Regulatory Element Binding Protein 1

The demand for high-quality milk is increasing worldwide. The efficiency of milk synthesis can be improved by taking advantage of the accumulated knowledge of the transcriptional and posttranscriptional regulation of genes coding for proteins involved in the synthesis of fat, protein, and lactose in the mammary gland. Research in this area is relatively new, but data accumulated in the last 10 years provide a relatively clear picture. Milk fat synthesis appears to be regulated, at least in bovines, by an interactive network between SREBP1, PPARγ, and LXRα, with a potential role for other transcription factors, such as Spot14, ChREBP, and Sp1. Milk protein synthesis is highly regulated by insulin, amino acids, and amino acid transporters via transcriptional and posttranscriptional routes, with the insulin-mTOR pathway playing a central role. The transcriptional regulation of lactose synthesis is still poorly understood, but it is clear that glucose transporters play an important role. They can also cooperatively interact with amino acid transporters and the mTOR pathway. Recent data indicate the possibility of nutrigenomic interventions to increase milk fat synthesis by feeding long-chain fatty acids and milk protein synthesis by feeding amino acids. We propose a transcriptional network model to account for all available findings. This model encompasses a complex network of proteins that control milk synthesis with a cross talk between milk fat, protein, and lactose regulation, with mTOR functioning as a central hub.

Alternate JournalPhysiol. Genomics
PubMed ID26812986