The relationships among bovine αS-casein phosphorylation isoforms suggest different phosphorylation pathways

Z.H. Fang, M.H.P.W. Visker, G. Miranda, A. Delacroix-Buchet, H. Bovenhuis, P. Martin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Casein (CN) phosphorylation is an important posttranslational modification and is one of the key factors responsible for constructing and stabilizing casein micelles. Variation in phosphorylation degree of αS-CN is of great interest because it is suggested to affect milk technological properties. This study aimed to investigate the variation in phosphorylation degree of αS-CN among milk of individual cows and to explore relationships among different phosphorylation isoforms of αS-CN. For this purpose, we analyzed morning milk samples from 529 French Montbéliarde cows using liquid chromatography coupled with electrospray ionization mass spectrometry. We detected 3 new phosphorylation isoforms: αS2-CN-9P, αS2-CN-14P, and αS2-CN-15P in bovine milk, in addition to the known isoforms αS1-CN-8P, αS1-CN-9P, αS2-CN-10P, αS2-CN-11P, αS2-CN-12P, and αS2-CN-13P. The relative concentrations of each αS-CN phosphorylation isoform varied considerably among individual cows. Furthermore, the phenotypic correlations and hierarchical clustering suggest at least 2 regulatory systems for phosphorylation of αS-CN: one responsible for isoforms with lower levels of phosphorylation (αS1-CN-8P, αS2-CN-10P, and αS2-CN-11P), and another responsible for isoforms with higher levels of phosphorylation (αS1-CN-9P, αS2-CN-12P, αS2-CN-13P, and αS2-CN-14P). Identifying all phosphorylation sites of αS2-CN and investigating the genetic background of different αS2-CN phosphorylation isoforms may provide further insight into the phosphorylation mechanism of caseins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8168-8177
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Casein
  • Liquid chromatography coupled with electrospray ionization mass spectrometry
  • Milk protein composition
  • Phosphorylation

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