Journal Article Forensic age prediction for dead or living samples by use of methylation-sensitive high resolution melting

Hamano, Yuya  ,  Manabe, Sho  ,  Morimoto, Chie  ,  Fujimoto, Shuntaro  ,  Ozeki, Munetaka  ,  Tamaki, Keiji

21pp.5 - 10 , 2016-07 , Elsevier
Age prediction with epigenetic information is now edging closer to practical use in forensic community. Many age-related CpG (AR-CpG) sites have proven useful in predicting age in pyrosequencing or DNA chip analyses. In this study, a wide range methylation status in the ELOVL2 and FHL2 promoter regions were detected with methylation-sensitive high resolution melting (MS-HRM) in a labor-, time-, and cost-effective manner. Non-linear-distributions of methylation status and chronological age were newly fitted to the logistic curve. Notably, these distributions were revealed to be similar in 22 living blood samples and 52 dead blood samples. Therefore, the difference of methylation status between living and dead samples suggested to be ignorable by MS-HRM. Additionally, the information from ELOVL2 and FHL2 were integrated into a logistic curve fitting model to develop a final predictive model through the multivariate linear regression of logit-linked methylation rates and chronological age with adjusted R[2] = 0.83. Mean absolute deviation (MAD) was 7.44 for 74 training set and 7.71 for 30 additional independent test set, indicating that the final predicting model is accurate. This suggests that our MS-HRM-based method has great potential in predicting actual forensic age.

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