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Correlation between terminal restriction fragments and flow-FISH measures in samples over wide range telomere lengths.

Authors: M M. Carbonari, T T. Tedesco, M M. Fiorilli
Published: 01/23/2014, Cell proliferation


Terminal restriction fragment (TRF) analysis of human telomeres was used to calibrate flow-fluorescence in situ hybridization (FF) measures of telomere lengths to expand the range of measures and increase power of resolution of our previously published protocol. TRF data used as the gold standard should be obtained by electrophoresis with suitable resolution applied to appropriately isolated genomic DNA. When we considered TRF attained by correct methods, we found our method to be insufficiently accurate, thus we have reviewed our previously published FF protocol to obtain the best coefficient of determination (r(2)) between our experimental results and valid TRF lengths.

Materials And Methods

Using human telomere-specific PNA probe, Cy5-OO-(CCCTAA)3 , we measured telomere lengths of continuous cell line and of peripheral blood lymphocytes by FF. We modified hybridization, stringency, negative control handling, stoichiometric DNA staining and telomere fluorescence assessment of the protocol.


We realized a procedure with increased power of resolution, improved TRF versus FF r(2) values that allowed simultaneous analysis of DNA and telomere duplication. Notwithstanding multiple steps in formamide sampling, recovery was satisfactory.


The reviewed FF protocol appeared at least as suitable as the TRF method. Measures obtained by TRF can be affected by chromosome end variability, DNA fragmentation, incomplete digestion and unsuitable electrophoresis. In contrast, the FF technique analyses telomeric sequences confined to preserved nuclei thus overcome most previous limitations. As yet, however, the FF telomere measure cannot be performed together with immunophenotyping and/or generation study by the dye dilution method.

© 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
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