Nevin Manimala Statistics

Analysis of DNA methylation markers for tissue identification in individuals with different clinical phenotypes

Electrophoresis. 2023 Mar 18. doi: 10.1002/elps.202200176. Online ahead of print.


DNA methylation patterns can be used to identify the type of tissue or body fluid found at a crime scene. However, tissue-related methylation levels have not been analyzed in individuals with different illnesses and medical conditions in forensic-specific studies. The primary goal of this study was to investigate if certain clinical phenotypes can alter the methylation levels of CpG sites in genes involved in tissue typing. Four studies with focus on DNA methylation analysis on individuals with different clinical conditions were selected from the Gene Expression Omnibus database. Then, a list of 137 CpG sites was compiled for further investigation. Statistical tests were performed to compare the beta-values results obtained for the control groups and the individuals affected by medical conditions. For each study, CpG sites that presented significant statistical differences between patients and control group were identified and it was possible to notice that DNA methylation levels can be affected in sites with potential forensic use. Although the observed DNA methylation variation (less than 10% difference) in this study would likely not cause any issues in body fluid identification, the results are important to show that this type of analysis should be taken into consideration when investigating and further validating body fluid markers. The CpG sites identified in this study should be further investigated by future studies on body fluids identification, and due to the significant difference in methylation levels in samples from affected individuals, caution must be taken before including these sites in tissue identification investigations. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

PMID:36934081 | DOI:10.1002/elps.202200176

By Nevin Manimala

Portfolio Website for Nevin Manimala