Telomere shortening is an important risk factor for cancer and accelerated aging. Here we describe the development of a simple and reproducible method to measure absolute telomere length. Based on Cawthon's quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) assay, our method uses an oligomer standard that can be used to generate absolute telomere length values rather than relative quantification. We demonstrate a strong correlation between this improved method and the "gold standard" of telomere length measurement - terminal restriction fragment analysis (TRF) by Southern hybridization. The capability to generate absolute telomere length values should allow a more direct comparison of results between experiments within and between laboratories.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)