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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Bovine CD14 gene characterization and relationship between polymorphisms and surface expression on monocytes and polymorphonuclear neutrophils

Eveline M Ibeagha-Awemu1, Jai-Wei Lee2, Aloysius E Ibeagha1 and Xin Zhao1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Animal Science, McGill University, Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, Quebec H9X 3V9, Canada

2 Department of Tropical Agriculture and International Cooperation, National Pingtung University of Science and Technology, Neipu, Pingtung 912, Taiwan

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BMC Genetics 2008, 9:50  doi:10.1186/1471-2156-9-50

Published: 8 August 2008



CD14 is an important player in host innate immunity in that it confers lipopolysaccharide sensitivity to cell types like neutrophils, monocytes and macrophages. The study was aimed at characterizing the CD14 gene of cattle for sequence variations and to determine the effect of variations on the expression of the protein on the surfaces of monocytes and neutrophils in healthy dairy cows.


Five SNPs were identified: two within the coding regions (g.A1908G and g.A2318G, numbering is according to GenBank No. EU148609), one in the 5' (g.C1291T) and two in the 3' (g.A2601G and g.G2621T) untranslated regions. SNP 1908 changes amino acid 175 of the protein (p.Asn175Asp, numbering is according to GenBank No. ABV68569), while SNP 2318 involves a synonymous codon change. Coding region SNPs characterized three gene alleles A (GenBank No. EU148609), A1 (GenBank No. EU148610) and B (GenBank No. EU148611) and two deduced protein variants A (ABV68569 and ABV68570) and B (ABV68571). Protein variant A is more common in the breeds analyzed. All SNPs gave rise to 3 haplotypes for the breeds. SNP genotype 1908AG was significantly (P < 0.01) associated with a higher percentage of neutrophils expressing more CD14 molecules on their surfaces. The promoter region contains several transcription factor binding sites, including multiple AP-1 and SP1 sites and there is a high conservation of amino acid residues between the proteins of closely related species.


The study has provided information on sequence variations within the CD14 gene and proteins of cattle. The SNP responsible for an amino acid exchange may play an important role in the expression of CD14 on the surfaces of neutrophils. Further observations involving a larger sample size are required to validate our findings. Our SNP and association analyses have provided baseline information that may be used at defining the role of CD14 in mediating bacterial infections. The computational analysis on the promoter and comparative analysis with other species has revealed regions of regulatory element motifs that may indicate important regulatory effects on the gene.