Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 2

tDMRs Related Abstracts

2 Identification of Body Fluid at the Crime Scene by DNA Methylation Markers for Use in Forensic Science

Authors: Shirin jalili, Hadi Shirzad, Mahasti Modarresi, Samaneh Nabavi, Somayeh Khanjani


Identifying the source tissue of biological material found at crime scenes can be very informative in a number of cases. Despite their usefulness, current visual, catalytic, enzymatic, and immunologic tests for presumptive and confirmatory tissue identification are applicable only to a subset of samples, might suffer limitations such as low specificity, lack of sensitivity, and are substantially impacted by environmental insults. In addition their results are operator-dependent. Recently the possibility of discriminating body fluids using mRNA expression differences in tissues has been described but lack of long term stability of that Molecule and the need to normalize samples for each individual are limiting factors. The use of DNA should solve these issues because of its long term stability and specificity to each body fluid. Cells in the human body have a unique epigenome, which includes differences in DNA methylation in the promoter of genes. DNA methylation, which occurs at the 5′-position of the cytosine in CpG dinucleotides, has great potential for forensic identification of body fluids, because tissue-specific patterns of DNA methylation have been demonstrated, and DNA is less prone to degradation than proteins or RNA. Previous studies have reported several body fluid-specific DNA methylation markers.The presence or absence of a methyl group on the 5’ carbon of the cytosine pyridine ring in CpG dinucleotide regions called ‘CpG islands’ dictates whether the gene is expressed or silenced in the particular body fluid. Were described methylation patterns at tissue specific differentially methylated regions (tDMRs) to be stable and specific, making them excellent markers for tissue identification. The results demonstrate that methylation-based tissue identification is more than a proof-of-concept. The methodology holds promise as another viable forensic DNA analysis tool for characterization of biological materials.

Keywords: Forensic Science, DNA Methylation, epigenome, tDMRs

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1 Methylation Profiling and Validation of Candidate Tissue-Specific Differentially Methylated Regions for Identification of Human Blood, Saliva, Semen and Vaginal Fluid and Its Application in Forensics

Authors: Meenu Joshi, Natalie Naidoo, Farzeen Kader


Identification of body fluids is an essential step in forensic investigation to aid in crime reconstruction. Tissue-specific differentially methylated regions (tDMRs) of the human genome can be targeted to be used as biomarkers to differentiate between body fluids. The present study was undertaken to establish the methylation status of potential tDMRs in blood, semen, saliva, and vaginal fluid by using methylation-specific PCR (MSP) and bisulfite sequencing (BS). The methylation statuses of 3 potential tDMRS in genes ZNF282, PTPRS, and HPCAL1 were analysed in 10 samples of each body fluid. With MSP analysis, the ZNF282, and PTPRS1 tDMR displayed semen-specific hypomethylation while HPCAL1 tDMR showed saliva-specific hypomethylation. With quantitative analysis by BS, the ZNF282 tDMR showed statistically significant difference in overall methylation between semen and all other body fluids as well as at individual CpG sites (p < 0.05). To evaluate the effect of environmental conditions on the stability of methylation profiles of the ZNF282 tDMR, five samples of each body fluid were subjected to five different forensic simulated conditions (dry at room temperature, wet in an exsiccator, outside on the ground, sprayed with alcohol, and sprayed with bleach) for 50 days. Vaginal fluid showed highest DNA recovery under all conditions while semen had least DNA quantity. Under outside on the ground condition, all body fluids except semen showed a decrease in methylation level; however, a significant decrease in methylation level was observed for saliva. A statistical significant difference was observed for saliva and semen (p < 0.05) for outside on the ground condition. No differences in methylation level were observed for the ZNF282 tDMR under all conditions for vaginal fluid samples. Thus, in the present study ZNF282 tDMR has been identified as a novel and stable semen-specific hypomethylation marker.

Keywords: Forensics, tDMRs, body fluids, bisulphite sequencing, MSP

Procedia PDF Downloads 33