Molecular cloning, characterization and nutritional regulation of key enzymes required for the effective utilization of marine wax esters by Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.)
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Previous studies had shown that wax ester-rich lipid extracted from calanoid copepods could be a useful alternative to fish oil as a provider of long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in diets for use in salmon aquaculture. Effective utilization of wax ester requires digestion and metabolism in the intestine with the fatty alcohol component being oxidized to fatty acid in intestinal cells through the combined activities of alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) and aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH). We studied wax ester utilization in Atlantic salmon using a candidate gene approach, focusing on ADH and ALDH as sequence information was available for these genes, including fish sequences, facilitating isolation of the cDNAs. Here, we report on the isolation and cloning of full-length cDNAs for ADH3 and ALDH3a2 genes from salmon intestinal tissue. Functional characterization by heterologous expression in the yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, showed the products of these cDNAs had long-chain ADH and ALDH enzyme activities. Thus, ADH3 was capable of oxidizing long-chain fatty alcohol, and ALDH3a2 was capable of oxidizing long-chain fatty aldehyde to the corresponding fatty acid. The genes were highly expressed in intestinal tissue, particularly pyloric caeca, but their expression was not increased in salmon fed dietary copepod oil in comparison to fish fed fish oil.