Proteome changes underpin improved meat quality and yield of chickens (Gallus gallus) fed the probiotic Enterococcus faecium

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© 2014 Zheng et al.Background: Supplementation of broiler chicken diets with probiotics may improve carcass characteristics and meat quality. However, the underlying molecular mechanism remains unclear. In the present study, 2D-DIGE-based proteomics was employed to investigate the proteome changes associated with improved carcass traits and meat quality of Arbor Acres broilers (Gallus gallus) fed the probiotic Enterococcus faecium. Results: The probiotic significantly increased meat colour, water holding capacity and pH of pectoral muscle but decreased abdominal fat content. These meat quality changes were related to the altered abundance of 22 proteins in the pectoral muscle following E. faecium feeding. Of these, 17 proteins have central roles in regulating meat quality due to their biological interaction network. Altered cytoskeletal and chaperon protein expression also contribute to improved water holding capacity and colour of meat, which suggests that upregulation of chaperon proteins maintains cell integrity and prevents moisture loss by enhancing folding and recovery of the membrane and cytoskeletal proteins. The down-regulation of β-enolase and pyruvate kinase muscle isozymes suggests roles in increasing the pH of meat by decreasing the production of lactic acid. The validity of the proteomics results was further confirmed by qPCR. Conclusions: This study reveals that improved meat quality of broilers fed probiotics is triggered by proteome alterations (especially the glycolytic proteins), and provides a new insight into the mechanism by which probiotics improve poultry production.




Zheng, A., Luo, J., Meng, K., Li, J., Zhang, S., Li, K., … Yao, B. (2014). Proteome changes underpin improved meat quality and yield of chickens (Gallus gallus) fed the probiotic Enterococcus faecium. BMC Genomics, 15(1).

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