Amino Acid Nutrition and Milk Production in Sows
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There are only a few studies to determine the effects of dietary factors on amino acid and protein synthesis by the lactating mammary gland. We reported that branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) provide the amino group for the synthesis of glutamate and glutamine in lactating porcine mammary tissue. Furthermore, results of our recent research have shown that dietary supplementation with BCAA to lactating sows can enhance milk production and piglet growth. However, the underlying mechanisms are not known.Among BCAA, L-leucine has been reported to enhance protein synthesis by activating the mammalian target of rapamycin signaling pathway in animals. The objective of the current project is to determine roles for L-leucine in regulating protein turnover in porcine mammary epithelial cells (PMEC).This goal will be accomplished using a stable cell line of PMEC recently developed in our laboratory.