Journal article

Acute involution in the tammar wallaby: Identification of genes and putative novel milk proteins implicated in mammary gland function

Elie Khalil, Matthew Robert Digby, Peter Campbell Thomson, Christophe Lefevre, Sonia Louise Mailer, Cate Pooley, Kevin Roy Nicholas

Genomics | ACADEMIC PRESS INC ELSEVIER SCIENCE | Published : 2011

Abstract

Marsupials provide a suitable alternative model to studying mammary gland involution. They have evolved a different reproductive strategy from eutherians, giving birth to an altricial young and secreting milk that changes in composition during lactation. In this study, we used a marsupial-specific EST microarray to identify 47 up-regulated genes during mammary gland involution in the tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii). These include the pro-apoptotic tumour necrosis factor receptor superfamily 21 (TNFRSF21) gene, whose expression in the mammary gland has not previously been reported. Genes encoding putative novel milk proteins which may protect the mammary gland from infection were also found..

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