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Keywords:

  • forensic science;
  • RNA;
  • mRNA profiling;
  • body fluid identification;
  • blood identification;
  • saliva identification;
  • semen identification;
  • menstrual blood identification;
  • multiplex real-time PCR

Abstract:  An alternative approach to conventional protein-based body fluid identification is gene expression profiling analysis. In the present work, we report the development of sensitive and robust multiplex quantitative reverse transcriptase-PCR assays for the identification of blood, saliva, semen, and menstrual blood. Each body fluid assay comprises a triplex system that detects transcripts from two body fluid-specific genes and a housekeeping gene GAPDH. The body fluid-specific genes include erythroid δ-aminolevulinate synthase (ALAS2) and β-spectrin (SPTB) for blood, statherin (STATH) and histatin 3 (HTN3) for saliva, protamine 1 (PRM1) and protamine 2 (PRM2) for semen, and matrix metalloproteinase 7 (MMP7) and matrix metalloproteinase 10 (MMP10) for menstrual blood. Normalization of both body fluid-specific genes to the housekeeping gene by means of appropriate cycle threshold metrics ensures the high specificity of each assay for its cognate body fluid.