The Human Bone Proteome Before and After Decomposition: Investigating the effects of Biological Variation and Taphonomic Alteration on Bone Protein Profiles and the Implications for Forensic Proteomics

Mickleburgh, Hayley L., Schwalbe, Ed, Bonicelli, Andrea, Mizukami, Haruka, Sellitto, Federica, Starace, Sefora, Wescott, Daniel J., Carter, David O. and Procopio, Noemi (2021) The Human Bone Proteome Before and After Decomposition: Investigating the effects of Biological Variation and Taphonomic Alteration on Bone Protein Profiles and the Implications for Forensic Proteomics. Journal of Proteome Research. ISSN 1535-3893 (In Press)

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jproteome.0c00992

Abstract

Bone proteomic studies using animal proxies and skeletonized human remains have delivered encouraging results in the search for potential biomarkers for precise and accurate post-mortem interval (PMI) and the age-at-death (AAD) estimation in medico-legal investigations. The development of forensic proteomics for PMI and AAD estimation is in critical need of research on human remains throughout decomposition, as currently the effects of both inter-individual biological differences and taphonomic alteration on the survival of human bone protein profiles are unclear. This study investigated the human bone proteome in four human body donors studied throughout decomposition outdoors. The effects of ageing phenomena (in vivo and post-mortem) and intrinsic and extrinsic variables on the variety and abundancy of the bone proteome were assessed. Results indicate that taphonomic and biological variables play a significant role in the survival of proteins in bone. Our findings suggest that inter-individual and inter-skeletal differences in bone mineral density (BMD) are important variables affecting the survival of proteins. Specific proteins survive better within the mineral matrix due to their mineral-binding properties. The mineral matrix likely also protects these proteins by restricting the movement of decomposer microbes. New potential biomarkers for PMI estimation and AAD estimation were identified. Future development of forensic bone proteomics should include standard measurement of BMD and target a combination of different biomarkers.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: The authors would like to acknowledge the Royal Society for funding a Research Grant (N.P.) under grant RGS/R1/191371, the UKRI for funding part of the research through a Fellowship (N.P.) under grant MR/S032878/1, as well as the European Research Council for funding part of the research under grant 319209 and the Leiden University Fund for funding under Byvanck grant 5604/30-4-2015/Byvanck. Dr. William Cheung at the NUOmics Facility is acknowledged for conducting the LC-MS/MS runs. The authors also gratefully acknowledge the donors and their next of kin for allowing the use of donated bodies to perform this research.
Subjects: C700 Molecular Biology, Biophysics and Biochemistry
F100 Chemistry
F400 Forensic and Archaeological Science
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Applied Sciences
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 05 Mar 2021 11:53
Last Modified: 30 Mar 2021 11:30
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/45626

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