From genes to milk: genomic organization of the mammary transcriptome Academic Article uri icon


  • In a previous study, it was observed that a subset of nonredundant expressed sequence tags derived from bovine mammary gland tissue were colocated in the bovine genome statistically more frequently than expected by chance. On the basis of this finding, we hypothesized that genes expressed in mammary tissue, like those expressed in other tissues, are organized into gene neighborhoods. Novel methods were developed to characterize mammary gene neighborhoods using publically available microarray data. Gene neighborhood size, both in terms of the number of genes and the base pair length, is similar between genes expressed in the lactating mammary gland and in other tissues. As a trend, correlation of gene expression decreases with increasing genomic distance but the scatter of the data reflects strong correlations between a subset of distantly located genes. This observation is consistent with coexpression of genes that are far apart in linear DNA but physically close in vivo due to folds in the threedimensional chromatin structure. Overall, these investigations confirm that milk production arose within mammalian ancestors without requiring major changes to eukaryotic genome architecture. Funded by the California Dairy Research Foundation.

published proceedings

  • The FASEB Journal

author list (cited authors)

  • Lemay, D. G., Rijnkels, M., German, J. B., & Pollard, K. S.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Lemay, Danielle G||Rijnkels, Monique||German, J Bruce||Pollard, Katherine S

publication date

  • April 2010