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Activation of caspase-9 and its influencing factors in beef during conditioning

  • J. Cao (a1) (a2), G. Zhou (a2), Y. Liu (a3), G. Liao (a4), Q. Zhang (a2), K. Ye (a2), D. Pan (a1) and C. Ou (a1)...


To study the activation of caspase-9 and its potential influence in conditioning, longissimus thoracis (LT), semitendinosus (STN) and psoas minor (PMi) muscles were used to analyze the ratio of pro-apoptotic bax to anti-apoptotic bcl-2 in fresh tissues and observe the changes in ATP, cytosolic cytochrome c and caspase-9 activity levels during storage at 4°C. Caspase-9 activity at 5 h is higher than the activity at 0 and 24 h in the muscles (P<0.001). The ATP content decreased between 0 and 3 h, between 8 and 14 h in the PMi and LT muscles (P<0.0001), whereas between 0 and 5 h, between 8 and 14 h in the STN muscle (P<0.0001). There is 60.2%, 55.3% and 43.1% available ATP in the STN, LT and PMi muscles at 5 h, respectively. The cytosolic cytochrome c level increased during 5 and 24 h storage in the LT and PMi muscles (P<0.0001), during 5 and 96 h in the STN muscle (P<0.0001). The cytosolic cytochrome c at 24 h (P<0.001) and ratio of bax to bcl-2 (P<0.05) was higher in the PMi than in other muscles. We concluded that the increase in cytosolic cytochrome c and available intracellular ATP should be responsible for the increase in caspase-9 activity; the activation of caspase-9 could be limited by the subsequent depletion of ATP; the postmortem release level of cytochrome c could be determined by the ratio of bax to bcl-2 in fresh tissues.


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