Evaluation of mRNA Markers for Estimating Blood Deposition Time


  • A. Taha MSc student Forensic Biotechnology, University of Modern Science, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • L. Mohamed Assistant professor of Forensic Medicine, College of Biotechnology, University of Modern Science, Dubai, UAE, Lecturer of Forensic Medicine and clinical Toxicology, College of Medicine, Cairo University ,Egypt
  • J. Salehi Assistant Lecturer, College of Biotechnology University of Modern Science, Dubai, UAE


Circadian clock, circadian rhythms, clock genes, oxidative stress, sleep deprivation


RNA analysis provide insight into diseases, molecular identification of body fluids and mechanisms leading to death and might develop into a valuable tool for identification of the cause of death in forensic pathology. Further potential uses are the determination of the age of wounds and the post-mortem interval. In this proof-of-concept pilot study clarifies and explains principles, applications and methods by offering a comprehensive and complete overview of using mRNA markers for estimating blood deposition time which can help to evaluate the time of the crime in forensic RNA work. The study presented in this thesis aimed to estimate the time passed since blood stains found in the crime scene by calculating the time of deposited blood using particular mRNA markers and unravelling one of the principles of at what time – when during the day or night a biological evidence was left at the scene – by applying the insights from circadian biology to some open forensic cases. By analyzing 4 candidate mRNA markers expression in peripheral blood samples collected from 29 health males. Blood samples were collected from healthy persons for the duration of the 24 hours’ day/night interval under four different groups, i.e. night/early, morning early morning/morning, morning/afternoon and afternoon/night. This study identified 2 mRNAs with statistically significant expression rhythms which are MKNK2 and PER 3. It’s found that, in general mRNA-based estimation of time categories was less accurate. The value of mRNA was demonstrated for blood deposition timing and introduced a statistical model for estimating day/night time categories based on molecular biomarkers, which shall be further validated with additional samples in the future.


Takahashi JS, Hong HK, Ko CH, McDearmon EL. The genetics of mammalian circadian order and disorder: implications for physiology and disease. Nat Rev Genet. 2008;9:764-75.

Mohawk JA, Green CB, Takahashi JS. Central and peripheral circadian clocks in mammals. Annu Rev Neurosci. 2012;35:445-62.

Partch CL, Green CB, Takahashi JS. Molecular architecture of the mammalian circadian clock. Trends Cell Biol. 2014;24:90-9.

Lowrey PL, Takahashi JS. Mammalian circadian biology: elucidating genome-wide levels of temporal organization. Annu Rev Genomics Hum Genet. 2004;5:407-41.

Kayser M, de Knijff P. Improving human forensics through advances in genetics, genomics and molecular biology. Nat Rev Genet. 2011;12:179-92.

Ackermann K, Ballantyne KN, Kayser M. Estimating trace deposition time with circadian biomarkers: a prospective and versatile tool for crime scene reconstruction. Int J Legal Med. 2010;124:387-95.

Ackermann K, Bux R, Rub U, Korf HW, Kauert G, Stehle JH (2006) Characterization of human melatonin synthesis using autoptic pineal tissue. Endocrinology 147:3235–3242

Mikami H, Terazawa K, Takatori T, Tokudome S, Tsukamoto T, Haga K (1994) Estimation of time of death by quantification of melatonin in corpses. Int J Legal Med 107:42–51

Odriozola A, Riancho JA, de la Vega R, Agudo G, Garcia-Blanco A, de Cos E, et al. miRNA analysis in vitreous humor to determine the time of death: a proof-of-concept pilot study. Int J Legal Med. 2013;127:573-8.

Sood P, Krek A, Zavolan M, Macino G, Rajewsky N. Cell-type-specific signatures of microRNAs on target mRNA expression. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006;103:2746-51.

Bartel DP. MicroRNAs: genomics, biogenesis, mechanism, and function. Cell. 2004;116:281-97.

Zubakov D, Boersma AWM, Choi Y, van Kuijk PF, Wiemer EAC, Kayser M. MicroRNA markers for forensic body fluid identification obtained from microarray screening and quantitative RT-PCR confirmation. Int J Legal Med. 2010;124:217-26.

Chen RM, D'Alessandro M, Lee C. miRNAs Are Required for Generating a Time Delay Critical for the Circadian Oscillator. Curr Biol. 2013;23:1959-68.

Cheng HYM, Papp JW, Varlamova O, Dziema H, Russell B, Curfman JP, et al. microRNA modulation of circadian-clock period and entrainment. Neuron. 2007;54:813-29.

Mehta N, Cheng HYM. Micro-Managing the Circadian Clock: The role of microRNAs in biological timekeeping. J Mol Biol. 2013;425:3609-24.

Edgar, Rachel S.; Green, Edward W.; Zhao, Yuwei; van Ooijen, Gerben; Olmedo, Maria; Qin, Ximing; Xu, Yao; Pan, Min; Valekunja, Utham K. (24 May 2012). "Peroxiredoxins are conserved markers of circadian rhythms". Nature. 485 (7399): 459–464.

Vitaterna, MS; Takahashi, JS; Turek, FW (2001). "Overview of circadian rhythms". Alcohol Research and Health. 25 (2): 85–93. PMID 11584554.

Bass, Joseph (15 November 2012). "Circadian topology of metabolism". Nature. 491 (7424): 348–356. Bibcode:2012Natur.491..348B. doi:10.1038/nature11704. ISSN 0028-0836.

Michael Hastings et al. J Endocrinol 2007;195:187-198.

R.H. Bremmer, A. Nadort, T.G. van Leeuwen, M.J. van Gemert, M.C. Aalders, Age estimation of blood stains by hemoglobin derivative determination using reflectance spectroscopy, Forensic Sci. Int. 206 (1–3) (2011) 166–171.

M. Bauer, S. Polzin, D. Patzelt, Quantification of RNA degradation by semiquantitative duplex and competitive RT-PCR: a possible indicator of the age of bloodstains? Forensic Sci. Int. 138 (2003) 94–103.

R.H. Bremmer, A. Nadort, T.G. van Leeuwen, M.J. van Gemert, M.C. Aalders, Age estimation of blood stains by hemoglobin derivative determination using reflectance spectroscopy, Forensic Sci. Int. 206 (1–3) (2011) 166–171.




How to Cite

Taha, A. ., Mohamed, L. ., & Salehi, J. . (2019). Evaluation of mRNA Markers for Estimating Blood Deposition Time. American Scientific Research Journal for Engineering, Technology, and Sciences, 59(1), 8–26. Retrieved from https://asrjetsjournal.org/index.php/American_Scientific_Journal/article/view/5045