The average length of telomeres as measured in genomic DNA from human peripheral blood leukocytes is proving to be a potential biomarker of great interest, particularly with respect to studies of aging, specific diseases, and the effects of various stresses on overall health.
The aim of this study was to establish an effective real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) method for telomere length measurement on the Roche LightCycler® 480 (LC480) real-time PCR platform.
Measurement of relative average telomere length was achieved by comparing products amplified from telomere-specific primers and single copy reference gene primers in a ratio (T/S).
Extensive testing led us to conclude that a modification of the original two-plate T/S assay was more compatible with this platform than the recently developed single-plate assay, and that choice of hot-start Taq polymerase and intercalating dye were critical factors.
This modified assay generates reliable measurements as judged by correlation with data derived by the telomeric restriction fragment Southern blot-based method.