A quantitative real-time PCR method for absolute telomere length

Nathan J. O'Callaghan, Varinderpal S. Dhillon, Philip Thomas, Michael Fenech

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

184 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)807-809
Number of pages3
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished or Issued - May 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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