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Mol. Cells 2012; 34(5): 473-480

Published online November 30, 2012

https://doi.org/10.1007/s10059-012-0214-z

© The Korean Society for Molecular and Cellular Biology

Quantitative Analyses of Postmortem Heat Shock Protein mRNA Profiles in the Occipital Lobes of Human Cerebral Cortices: Implications in Cause of Death

Ukhee Chung, Joong-Seok Seo1, Yu-Hoon Kim1, Gi Hoon Son*, and Juck-Joon Hwang*

Department of Legal Medicine, College of Medicine, Korea University, Seoul 136-705, Korea, 1Division of Forensic Medicine, National Forensic Service, Seoul 158-707, Korea

Correspondence to : *Correspondence: jjhwang@korea.ac.kr (JJH); songh@korea.ac.kr (GHS)

Received: August 20, 2012; Revised: September 24, 2012; Accepted: October 3, 2012

Abstract

Quantitative RNA analyses of autopsy materials to diag-nose the cause and mechanism of death are challenging tasks in the field of forensic molecular pathology. Altera-tions in mRNA profiles can be induced by cellular stress responses during supravital reactions as well as by lethal insults at the time of death. Here, we demonstrate that several gene transcripts encoding heat shock proteins (HSPs), a gene family primarily responsible for cellular stress responses, can be differentially expressed in the occipital region of postmortem human cerebral cortices with regard to the cause of death. HSPA2 mRNA levels were higher in subjects who died due to mechanical as-phyxiation (ASP), compared with those who died by trau-matic injury (TI). By contrast, HSPA7 and A13 gene tran-scripts were much higher in the TI group than in the ASP and sudden cardiac death (SCD) groups. More importantly, relative abundances between such HSP mRNA species exhibit a stronger correlation to, and thus provide more discriminative information on, the death process than does routine normalization to a housekeeping gene. Therefore, the present study proposes alterations in HSP mRNA composition in the occipital lobe as potential forensic biological markers, which may implicate the cause and process of death.

Keywords cause of death, heat shock protein (HSP), molecular pathology, mRNA, postmortem brain tissue

Article

Research Article

Mol. Cells 2012; 34(5): 473-480

Published online November 30, 2012 https://doi.org/10.1007/s10059-012-0214-z

Copyright © The Korean Society for Molecular and Cellular Biology.

Quantitative Analyses of Postmortem Heat Shock Protein mRNA Profiles in the Occipital Lobes of Human Cerebral Cortices: Implications in Cause of Death

Ukhee Chung, Joong-Seok Seo1, Yu-Hoon Kim1, Gi Hoon Son*, and Juck-Joon Hwang*

Department of Legal Medicine, College of Medicine, Korea University, Seoul 136-705, Korea, 1Division of Forensic Medicine, National Forensic Service, Seoul 158-707, Korea

Correspondence to:*Correspondence: jjhwang@korea.ac.kr (JJH); songh@korea.ac.kr (GHS)

Received: August 20, 2012; Revised: September 24, 2012; Accepted: October 3, 2012

Abstract

Quantitative RNA analyses of autopsy materials to diag-nose the cause and mechanism of death are challenging tasks in the field of forensic molecular pathology. Altera-tions in mRNA profiles can be induced by cellular stress responses during supravital reactions as well as by lethal insults at the time of death. Here, we demonstrate that several gene transcripts encoding heat shock proteins (HSPs), a gene family primarily responsible for cellular stress responses, can be differentially expressed in the occipital region of postmortem human cerebral cortices with regard to the cause of death. HSPA2 mRNA levels were higher in subjects who died due to mechanical as-phyxiation (ASP), compared with those who died by trau-matic injury (TI). By contrast, HSPA7 and A13 gene tran-scripts were much higher in the TI group than in the ASP and sudden cardiac death (SCD) groups. More importantly, relative abundances between such HSP mRNA species exhibit a stronger correlation to, and thus provide more discriminative information on, the death process than does routine normalization to a housekeeping gene. Therefore, the present study proposes alterations in HSP mRNA composition in the occipital lobe as potential forensic biological markers, which may implicate the cause and process of death.

Keywords: cause of death, heat shock protein (HSP), molecular pathology, mRNA, postmortem brain tissue

Mol. Cells
Sep 30, 2022 Vol.45 No.9, pp. 603~672
COVER PICTURE
The Target of Rapamycin Complex (TORC) is a central regulatory hub in eukaryotes, which is well conserved in diverse plant species, including tomato (Solanum lycopersicum). Inhibition of TORC genes (SlTOR, SlLST8, and SlRAPTOR) by VIGS (virus-induced gene silencing) results in early fruit ripening in tomato. The red/ orange tomatoes are early-ripened TORC-silenced fruits, while the green tomato is a control fruit. Top, left, control fruit (TRV2-myc); top, right, TRV2-SlLST8; bottom, left, TRV2-SlTOR; bottom, right, TRV2-SlRAPTOR(Choi et al., pp. 660-672).

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