Key Laboratory of Quality & Safety Control for Milk and Dairy Products of Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Institute of Animal Sciences, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100193, China. Electronic address: [Email]
Milk yield and several components of milk that are affected by physiological factors have been widely investigated. However, the effects of lactation stage and parity on bovine milk whey proteins have not been well elucidated. To aid in unraveling the proteome profile and exploring the protein biosynthesis of mammary glands, a label-free proteomic approach was used to characterize whey proteomes depending on the lactation stage and parity of dairy cows. The results of this study show that the abundances of several proteins, such as early lactation protein, syntenin, and heparanase, were associated with specific stages of the lactation cycle; this was evidenced by a principal component analysis. In addition, several proteins, such as hemoglobin subunits beta and alpha, β-lactoglobulin, CD320, and apolipoprotein E, corresponded to the parity of the dairy cows and were herein considered as useful biomarkers to distinguish different parities. Most of the differentially expressed proteins from specific lactation stages and parity milk groups were annotated in the response to stimulus and protein metabolic processes. The findings reveal that developmental changes in whey proteomes correspond to lactation stages and parities, which in turn provides new insight into the underlying implications of the production of specific proteins to meet the health benefits of offspring and host, and allow us to explore the mechanisms of protein biosynthesis in mammary glands associated with physiological changes in dairy cows.