U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Nebraska


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Published in Domestic Animal Endocrinology 23 (2002) 493–506.


A quantitative trait locus (QTL) for uterine capacity is located on chromosome 8. Comparison of porcine and human genetic maps suggested that the estrogen sulfotransferase (STE) gene may be located near this region. The objectives of this study were to clone the full coding region for STE, compare endometrial STE gene expression between Meishan and White composite pigs during early pregnancy, and map the STE gene. We obtained a clone (1886 bp) containing the full coding region of STE by iterative screening of an expressed sequence tag library. Endometrial STE mRNA expression in White composite gilts was determined by Northern blotting on days 10, 13, and 15 of the estrous cycle; and on days 10, 13, 15, 20, 30, and 40 of pregnancy. STE mRNA expression was elevated (P <0.01) on days 20 and 30 of pregnancy compared to other days of the cycle or pregnancy. Endometrial STE mRNA expression during early pregnancy, determined using real-time RT-PCR, was elevated (P < 0.01) on day 20 compared to day 15, decreased (P = 0.02) between days 20 and 30, and decreased further (P < 0.01) between days 30 and 40 in both Meishan and White composite pigs. Expression of STE mRNA was greater (P = 0.01) in White composite pigs compared to Meishan pigs. Using a microsatellite from an STE containing BAC genomic clone, the STE gene was mapped to 65 centimorgans on chromosome 8. Because STE mRNA expression differs between Meishan and White composite pigs, the STE gene may be a candidate for the uterine capacity QTL.