Characteristics, tissue-specific expression, and hormonal regulation of expression of tyrosine aminotransferase in the avian female reproductive tract

W. Lim, Gwonhwa Song

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Tyrosine aminotransferase (TAT) catalyzes the transamination of tyrosine to p-hydroxyphenylpyruvate. Accumulation of tyrosine in the body due to a genetic mutation in the TAT gene causes tyrosomia type II in humans. The TAT gene is regarded as a model for studying steroid-inducible factors regulating a variety of biological functions of TAT. However, little is known of the effects of estrogen on the expression of the TAT gene in chickens. Therefore, in the present study, we identified expression of the avian TAT gene in various organs. The results showed the TAT was detected predominantly in the liver and reproductive organs including testis, oviduct, and ovary. Specifically, TAT mRNA was expressed abundantly in the glandular and luminal epithelia of the oviducts in response to endogenous and exogenous estrogens which also induce dramatic morphological changes in the oviduct of chickens. In addition, target microRNAs of TAT (miR-1460, miR-1626-3p, miR-1690-5p, and miR-7442-3p) were found to modulate expression of the TAT gene. Especially, miR-1690-5p influenced TAT gene transcription by binding directly to its 3'-UTR region. Moreover, the expression of TAT was abundant in glandular epithelia of cancerous but not normal ovaries from laying hens. Taken together, our findings suggest that TAT plays an important role in the cytodifferentiation of oviducts in response to estrogen and in the progression of ovarian cancer in chickens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-20
Number of pages11
JournalDomestic Animal Endocrinology
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Oct 1



  • Chicken
  • Estrogen
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Oviduct development
  • TAT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Endocrinology
  • Food Animals

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