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Research articles

ScienceAsia 50 (2024):ID 2024028 1-9 |doi: 10.2306/scienceasia1513-1874.2024.028

Age-associated DNA methylation changes with hypermethylation ELOVL2 and ZYG11A in dental samples: A pilot study

Praewa Pinpraserta, Supakit Khacha-anandab,c,*, Suteera Narakornsakd, Klintean Wunnapukb

ABSTRACT:      The accuracy of age prediction based on physical appearance diminishes as body degradation occurs, prompting the suggestion of utilizing skeletal remains as an alternative method. Molecular studies investigating epigenetic responses have proposed the development of age prediction models. Certain studies focusing on teeth or bones have explored the correlation between DNA methylation and actual age. However, the influence of diverse ethnicities on DNA methylation levels poses a challenge to the generalizability of these models, limiting their applicability to specific populations of origin. This study aims to investigate the DNA methylation levels in teeth to construct an age prediction model. Teeth were collected from corpses, and the pyrosequencing technique was employed to measure the quantification of DNA methylation levels on ELOVL2, ZYG11A, and TRIM59 genes. Significant correlations were observed between several methylated ELOVL2, ZYG11A, and TRIM59 levels and actual age, and these correlations had not been reported before. A moderately positive linear relationship (r value between 0.365?0.643) was constructed for age prediction. The performance of the predicted models was evaluated using Leave-One-Out CrossValidation, indicating an approximate error of 11?13 years from the actual age. In conclusion, our findings provide preliminary data to the discovery of significantly methylated genes for the construction of age prediction model for further study and the utilization of the DNA methylation-based approach for application in forensic aspect.

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a Master?s Degree in Forensic Science, Graduate School, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai 50200 Thailand
b Department of Forensic Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai 50200 Thailand
c Research Center in Bioresources for Agriculture, Industry and Medicine, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai 50200 Thailand
d Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai 50200 Thailand

* Corresponding author, E-mail:

Received 2 Aug 2023, Accepted 7 Feb 2024