Cloning and characterization of chicken fat mass and obesity associated (Fto) gene: Fasting affects Fto expression

A. Tiwari, S. M. Krzysik-Walker, R. Ramachandran

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20 Scopus citations


Fat mass and obesity associated gene (Fto), also known as Fatso, is a member of the Fe-II and 2-oxoglutarate-dependent dioxygenase superfamily. Recent studies in humans and rodents suggest that Fto is involved in food intake regulation and lipid metabolism, whereas single nucleotide mutations in the Fto gene are associated with obesity and type 2 diabetes. The Fto gene is highly conserved from green algae to humans, but little is known about the avian Fto gene or protein. The objectives of the current study were to clone full-length chicken Fto cDNA and to determine the effect of age or feeding status on Fto expression. With the use of rapid amplification of cDNA ends, the full-length chicken Fto cDNA was cloned and found to share 63% to 66% homology with the mammalian Fto nucleotide sequence. Several regions of the chicken Fto protein, including the substrate (2-oxoglutarate) binding domains, were found to be identical to mammalian Fto protein. Western blotting with anti-human Fto antibody and reverse transcription PCR studies showed that Fto protein and gene were ubiquitously expressed in various tissues of the chicken. With the use of quantitative PCR, Fto mRNA levels were found to be higher in liver and skeletal muscle of 8-wk-old chickens than in 4-wk-old chickens. In addition, alterations in feeding status resulted in significant changes in Fto mRNA and Fto protein expression in the liver but not in skeletal muscle and adipose tissue of broiler chickens. Taken together, our data suggest that Fto probably plays a significant role in liver function and energy metabolism in the chicken.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalDomestic Animal Endocrinology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Endocrinology


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