Characterisation and functional analysis of the WIF1 gene and its role in hair follicle growth and development of the Angora rabbit




rabbit, WIF1, Angora rabbit, hair follicle, bioinformatics, Wnt signalling pathway


Growth and development of hair follicles (HF) is a complex and dynamic process in most mammals. As HF growth and development regulate rabbit wool yield, exploring the role of genes involved in HF growth and development may be relevant. In this study, the coding sequence of the Angora rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) WIF1 gene was cloned. The length of the coding region sequence was found to be 1140 bp, which encodes 379 amino acids. Bioinformatics analysis indicated that the WIF1 protein was unstable, hydrophilic and located in the extracellular region, contained a putative signal peptide and exhibited a high homology in different mammals. Moreover, WIF1 was significantly downregulated in the high wool production in the Angora rabbit group. Overexpression and knockdown studies revealed that WIF1 regulates HF growth and development-related genes and proteins, such as LEF1 and CCND1. WIF1 activated β-catenin/TCF transcriptional activity, promoted cell apoptosis and inhibited cellular proliferation. These results indicate that WIF1 might be important for HF development. This study, therefore, provides a theoretical foundation for investigating WIF1 in HF growth and development.


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Author Biographies

Bohao Zhao, Yangzhou University

College of Animal Science and Technology

Jiali Li, Yangzhou University

College of Animal Science and Technology

Xiyu Zhang, Yangzhou University

College of Animal Science and Technology

Zhiyuan Bao, Yangzhou University

College of Animal Science and Technology

Yang Chen, Yangzhou University

College of Animal Science and Technology

Xinsheng Wu, Yangzhou University

College of Animal Science and Technology, Yangzhou University


Joint International Research Laboratory of Agriculture & Agri-Product Safety, Yangzhou University


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