Genome-wide detection of key genes and epigenetic markers for chicken fatty liver

Xiaodong Tan, Ranran Liu, Siyuan Xing, Yonghong Zhang, Qinghe Li, Maiqing Zheng, Guiping Zhao*, Jie Wen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Chickens are one of the most important sources of meat worldwide, and the occurrence of fatty liver syndrome (FLS) is closely related to production efficiency. However, the potential mechanism of FLS remains poorly understood. An integrated analysis of data from whole-genome bisulfite sequencing and long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) sequencing was conducted. A total of 1177 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) and 1442 differentially methylated genes (DMGs) were found. There were 72% of 83 lipid-and glucose-related genes upregulated; 81% of 150 immune-related genes were downregulated in fatty livers. Part of those genes was within differentially methylated regions (DMRs). Besides, sixty-seven lncRNAs were identified differentially expressed and divided into 13 clusters based on their expression pattern. Some lipid-and glucose-related lncRNAs (e.g., LNC_006756, LNC_012355, and LNC_005024) and immune-related lncRNAs (e.g., LNC_010111, LNC_010862, and LNC_001272) were found through a co-expression network and functional annotation. From the expression and epigenetic profiles, 23 target genes (e.g., HAO1, ABCD3, and BLMH) were found to be hub genes that were regulated by both methylation and lncRNAs. We have provided comprehensive epigenetic and transcriptomic profiles on FLS in chicken, and the identification of key genes and epigenetic markers will expand our understanding of the molecular mechanism of chicken FLS.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1800
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020


  • Chicken
  • DNA methylation
  • Epigenetics
  • Fatty liver
  • Lipid metabolism
  • Long noncoding RNA

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