Scientific Reports | 2019
Liver proteomics unravel the metabolic pathways related to Feed Efficiency in beef cattle
Improving nutrient utilization efficiency is essential for livestock, given the current scenario of increasing demand for animal protein and sustainable resource use. In this context, understanding the biology of feed efficiency (FE) in beef cattle allows the development of markers for identification and selection of best animals for animal production. Thus, 98 young Nellore bulls were evaluated for FE and at the end of the experiment liver samples from six High Feed Efficient (HFE) and six Low Feed Efficient (LFE) animals were collected for protein extraction, digestion and analysis by HPLC-MS/MS. Data were analyzed for differential abundant proteins (DAPs), protein networks, and functional enrichment. Serum endotoxin was also quantified. We found 42 DAPs and 3 protein networks significantly related to FE. The main pathways associated with FE were: microbial metabolism; biosynthesis of fatty acids, amino acids and vitamins; glycolysis/gluconeogenesis; xenobiotic metabolism and; antigen processing and presentation. Serum endotoxins were significantly higher in LFE animals supporting the results. Therefore, the findings presented here confirmed the altered hepatic metabolism and pronounced hepatic inflammation in LFE animals supporting that the increased bacterial load is at least in part responsible for the hepatic lesions and inflammation in LFE animals.