We investigated potential protein markers of post-mortem interval (PMI) using rat kidney and psoas muscle. Tissue samples were taken at 12 h intervals for up to 96 h after death by suffocation. Expression levels of eight soluble proteins were analyzed by Western blotting. Degradation patterns of selected proteins were clearly divided into three groups: short-term, mid-term, and long-term PMI markers based on the half maximum intensity of intact protein expression. In kidney, glycogen synthase (GS) and glycogen synthase kinase-3β were degraded completely within 48 h making them short-term PMI markers. AMP-activated protein kinase α, caspase 3 and GS were short-term PMI markers in psoas muscle. Glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) was a mid-term PMI marker in both tissues. Expression levels of the typical long-term PMI markers, p53 and β-catenin, were constant for at least 96 h post-mortem in both tissues. The degradation patterns of GS and caspase- 3 were verified by immunohistochemistry in both tissues. GAPDH was chosen as a test PMI protein to perform a lateral flow assay (LFA). The presence of recombinant GAPDH was clearly detected in LFA and quantified in a concentration-dependent manner. These results suggest that LFA might be used to estimate PMI at a crime scene.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by the Korea Basic Science Institute NAP project (T35780). This research was supported by a grant (14CTAP-C077516-01) from Infrastructure and transportation technology promotion research Program funded by Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport of Korean government.
© 2016 Lee et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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