The fiber diameter traits of Tibetan cashmere goats are governed by the inherent differences in stress, hypoxic, and metabolic adaptations: an integrative study of proteome and transcriptome

Zou, Hong, et al. “The complete mitochondrial genome of parasitic nematode Camallanus cotti: extreme discontinuity in the rate of mitogenomic architecture evolution within the Chromadorea class.” BMC genomics 18.1 (2017): 1-17.



Tibetan cashmere goats are served as a valuable model for high altitude adaptation and hypoxia complications related studies, while the cashmere produced by these goats is an important source of income for the herders. The aim of this study was to investigate the differences in protein abundance underlying the fine (average 12.20 ± 0.03 μm of mean fiber diameter) and coarse cashmere (average 14.67 ± 0.05 μm of mean fiber diameter) producing by Tibetan cashmere goats. We systematically investigated the genetic determinants of fiber diameter by integrated analysis with proteomic and transcriptomic datasets from skin tissues of Tibetan cashmere goats.


We identified 1980 proteins using a label-free proteomics approach. They were annotated to three different databases, while 1730 proteins were mapped to the original protein coding genes (PCGs) of the transcriptomic study. Comparative analyses of cashmere with extremely fine vs. coarse phenotypes yielded 29 differentially expressed proteins (DEPs), for instance, APOH, GANAB, AEBP1, CP, CPB2, GPR142, VTN, IMPA1, CTSZ, GLB1, and HMCN1. Functional enrichment analysis of these DEPs revealed their involvement in oxidation-reduction process, cell redox homeostasis, metabolic, PI3K-Akt, MAPK, and Wnt signaling pathways. Transcription factors enrichment analysis revealed the proteins mainly belong to NF-YB family, HMG family, CSD family. We further validated the protein abundance of four DEPs (GC, VTN, AEBP1, and GPR142) through western blot, and considered they were the most potential candidate genes for cashmere traits in Tibetan cashmere goats.


These analyses indicated that the major biological variations underlying the difference of cashmere fiber diameter in Tibetan cashmere goats were attributed to the inherent adaptations related to metabolic, hypoxic, and stress response differences. This study provided novel insights into the breeding strategies for cashmere traits and enhance the understanding of the biological and genetic mechanisms of cashmere traits in Tibetan cashmere goats.