Expression of an ovine growth hormone transgene in mice increases archidonic acid in cellular membranes

J. D. Murray, A. M. Oberbauer, K. R. Sharp, J. B. German

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The degree of unsaturation of membrane lipids has been implicated in a number of physiological disorders, yet its regulation remains poorly understood, especially the regulation of the synthesis and distribution of arachidonic acid levels, the most abundant long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid in membranes. Transgenic mice expressing the ovine metallothionein 1a - ovine growth hormone (oMt1a-oGH) fusion gene exhibited significantly elevated levels of a number of long chain polyusaturated fatty acids in serum, including arachidonic acid. In oMt1a-oGH transgenic mice the products of all three desaturation pathways are affected by the expression of the ovine growth hormone trangene. The essential precursors of membrane long chain polyunsturated fatty acids, 18:2n-6 and 18:3n-3, were reduced in transgenic relative to controls, and their desaturation and elongation products, arachidonic acid (20:4n-6) and docosahexaenoic acid (22:6n-3), were elevated. As rare intermediate long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids such as eicosatrienoic acid (20:3n-9) were also signficantly elevated, we conclude that these observations reflect increased activity of the Δ-5 and Δ-6 desaturase enzymes. In contranst, the products of the stearoyl CoA or Δ-9 desaturase, were significantly reduced in oMt1a-oGH expressing transgenics relative to their levels in control mice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-248
Number of pages8
JournalTransgenic Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1994


  • arachidonic acid
  • desaturases
  • fatty acids
  • growth hormone
  • mouse
  • PUFA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Biotechnology
  • Plant Science
  • Food Science


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