Glycosphingolipid biosynthesis-globo series pathway genes (FUT1, FUT2, ST3GAL1, HEXA, HEXB, B3GALNT1, and NAGA) play an important regulatory role in the defense against Escherichia coli F18 in piglets. In this study, we identified the transcription initiation site and promoter of this gene cluster by mined previous RNA-seq results using bioinformatics tools. The FUT1 transcription initiation region included five alternative splicing sites and two promoter regions, whereas each of the six other genes had one promoter. Dual luciferase reporter results revealed significantly higher transcriptional activity by FUT1 promoter 2, indicating that it played a more important role in transcription. The promoters of glycosphingolipid biosynthesis genes identified contained a CpG island within the first 500 bp, except for the B3GALNT1 promoter which included fewer CpG sites. These results provide a deeper insight into methylation and the regulatory mechanisms of glycosphingolipid biosynthesis-globo series pathway genes in piglets.
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