Post-mortomics: the potential of untargeted metabolomics to highlight markers for time since death

Pesko, B. K., Weidt, S., McLaughlin, M. , Wescott, D. J., Torrance, H. , Burgess, K. and Burchmore, R. (2020) Post-mortomics: the potential of untargeted metabolomics to highlight markers for time since death. OMICS: A Journal of Integrative Biology, 24(11), pp. 649-659. (doi: 10.1089/omi.2020.0084) (PMID:33095683)

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Abstract

The success of forensic investigations involving fatalities very often depends on the establishment of the correct timeline of events. Currently used methods for estimating the postmortem interval (PMI) are mostly dependent on the professional and tacit experience of the investigator, and often with poor reliability in the absence of robust biological markers. The aim of this study was to investigate the potential of metabolomic approaches to highlight molecular markers for PMI. Rat and human muscle tissues, collected at various times postmortem, were analyzed using an untargeted metabolomics approach. Levels of certain metabolites (skatole, xanthine, n-acetylneuraminate, 1-methylnicotinamide, choline phosphate, and uracil) as well as most proteinogenic amino acids increased steadily postmortem. Threonine, tyrosine, and lysine show the most predictable evolution over the postmortem period, and may thus have potential for possible PMI markers in the future. This study demonstrates how a biomarker discovery approach can be extended to forensic investigations using untargeted metabolomics.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Burgess, Dr Karl and McLaughlin, Dr Mark and Burchmore, Dr Richard and Weidt, Dr Stefan and Torrance, Dr Hazel
Authors: Pesko, B. K., Weidt, S., McLaughlin, M., Wescott, D. J., Torrance, H., Burgess, K., and Burchmore, R.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection Immunity and Inflammation
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:OMICS: A Journal of Integrative Biology
Publisher:Mary Ann Liebert
ISSN:1536-2310
ISSN (Online):2218-1989
Published Online:13 October 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 Bogumila K. Pesko, et al
First Published:First published in OMICS: A Journal of Integrative Biology 24(11):649-659
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons licence

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
161012DTC in cell and proteomic technologies (continuation)Jonathan CooperEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/F500424/1ENG - Biomedical Engineering