Forensic proteomics for the evaluation of the post-mortem decay in bones

Procopio, Noemi, Williams, Anna, Chamberlain, Andrew T. and Buckley, Michael (2018) Forensic proteomics for the evaluation of the post-mortem decay in bones. Journal of Proteomics, 177. pp. 21-30. ISSN 1874-3919

Full text not available from this repository.
Official URL:


Current methods for evaluation the of post-mortem interval (PMI) of skeletal remains suffer from poor accuracy due to the great number of variables that affect the diagenetic process and to the lack of specific guidelines to address this issue. During decomposition, proteins can undergo cumulative decay over the time, resulting in a decrease in the range and abundance of proteins present (i.e., the proteome) in different tissues as well as in an increase of post-translational modifications occurring in these proteins. In this study, we investigate the applicability of bone proteomic analyses to simulated forensic contexts, looking for specific biomarkers that may help the estimation of PMI, as well as evaluate a previously discovered marker for the estimation of biological age. We noticed a reduction of particular plasma and muscle proteins with increasing PMIs, as well as an increased deamidation of biglycan, a protein with a role in modulating bone growth and mineralization. We also corroborated our previous results regarding the use of fetuin-A as a potential biomarker for the estimation of age-at-death, demonstrating the applicability and the great potential that proteomics may have towards forensic sciences.

The estimation of the post-mortem interval has a key role in forensic investigations, however nowadays it still suffers from poor reliability, especially when body tissues are heavily decomposed. Here we propose for the first time the application of bone proteomics to the estimation of the time elapsed since death and found several new potential biomarkers to address this, demonstrating the applicability of proteomic analyses to forensic sciences.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Bone proteomics; Forensic proteomics; Post-mortem interval; Biglycan deamidation
Subjects: F400 Forensic and Archaeological Science
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Applied Sciences
Depositing User: Paul Burns
Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2018 15:46
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2019 15:01

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics