Int J Biol Sci 2016; 12(11):1382-1393. doi:10.7150/ijbs.16472

Research Paper

Genetic Variant in Flavin-Containing Monooxygenase 3 Alters Lipid Metabolism in Laying Hens in a Diet-Specific Manner

Jing Wang, Cheng Long, Haijun Zhang, Yanan Zhang, Hao Wang, Hongyuan Yue, Xiaocui Wang, Shugeng Wu, Guanghai Qi

Key Laboratory of Feed Biotechnology of Ministry of Agriculture, Feed Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100081, China.


Genetic variant T329S in flavin-containing monooxygenase 3 (FMO3) impairs trimethylamine (TMA) metabolism in birds. The TMA metabolism that under complex genetic and dietary regulation, closely linked to cardiovascular disease risk. We determined whether the genetic defects in TMA metabolism may change other metabolic traits in birds, determined whether the genetic effects depend on diets, and to identify genes or gene pathways that underlie the metabolic alteration induced by genetic and diet factors. We used hens genotyped as FMO3 c.984 A>T as well as those with the homozygous normal genotype. For each genotype, hens were provided with either a corn-soybean meal basal diets (SM), which contains lower levels of TMA precursor, or the basal diets supplemented with 21% of rapeseed meal (RM), which contains higher levels of TMA precursor. An integrative analysis of metabolomic and transcriptomic was used to explore the metabolic patterns of FMO3 genetic variant in hens that were fed the two defined diets. In birds that consumed SM diets, the T329S mutation increased levels of plasma TMA and lipids, FMO3 mRNA levels, and the expression of genes involved in long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid biosynthesis. In birds that consumed RM diets, the T329S mutation induced fishy odor syndrome, a repression in LXR pathway and a reciprocal change in lipid metabolism. Variations in TMA and lipid metabolism were linked to the genetic variant in FMO3 in a diet-specific manner, which suggest FMO3 functions in TMA metabolism and lipid homeostasis. LXR pathway and polyunsaturated fatty acid metabolism are two possible mechanisms of FMO3 action in response to dietary TMA precursor.

Keywords: flavin-containing monooxygenase 3, trimethylamine, lipid metabolism, laying hen, genetic variant, dietary TMA precursor

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How to cite this article:
Wang J, Long C, Zhang H, Zhang Y, Wang H, Yue H, Wang X, Wu S, Qi G. Genetic Variant in Flavin-Containing Monooxygenase 3 Alters Lipid Metabolism in Laying Hens in a Diet-Specific Manner. Int J Biol Sci 2016; 12(11):1382-1393. doi:10.7150/ijbs.16472. Available from