Malic enzyme [l-malate-NADP oxidoreductase (decarboxylating), EC 126.96.36.199] and fatty acid synthase activities were barely detectable in the uropygial gland of duck embryos until 4 or 5 days before hatching, when they began to increase. These activities increased about 30- and 140-fold, respectively, by the day of hatching. Malic enzyme and fatty acid synthase activities were also very low in embryonic liver. However, hepatic malic enzyme activity did not increase until the newly hatched ducklings were fed. Hepatic fatty acid synthase began to increase the day before hatching and the rate of increase in enzyme activity accelerated markedly when the newly hatched ducklings were fed. Starvation of newly hatched or 12-day-old ducklings had no effect on the activities of malic enzyme and fatty acid synthase in the uropygial gland but markedly inhibited these activities in liver. Changes in the concentrations of both enzymes and in the relative synthesis rates of fatty acid synthase correlated with enzyme activities in both uropygial gland and liver. Developmental patterns for sequence abundance of malic enzyme and fatty acid synthase mRNAs in uropygial gland and liver were similar to those for their respective enzyme activities. Starvation of 4-day-old ducklings had no significant effect on the abundance of these mRNAs in uropygial gland but caused a pronounced decrease in their abundance in liver. It is concluded that developmental and nutritional regulation of these enzymes is tissue specific and occurs primarily at a pretranslational level in both uropygial gland and liver.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology