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Telomere analysis by fluorescence in situ hybridization and flow cytometry.

Nucleic acids research (1998-08-01)
M Hultdin, E Grönlund, K Norrback, E Eriksson-Lindström, T Just, G Roos
ABSTRACT

Determination of telomere length is traditionally performed by Southern blotting and densitometry, giving a mean telomere restriction fragment (TRF) value for the total cell population studied. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) of telomere repeats has been used to calculate telomere length, a method called quantitative (Q)-FISH. We here present a quantitative flow cytometric approach, Q-FISHFCM, for evaluation of telomere length distribution in individual cells based on in situ hybridization using a fluorescein-labeled peptide nucleic acid (PNA) (CCCTAA)3probe and DNA staining with propidium iodide. A simple and rapid protocol with results within 30 h was developed giving high reproducibility. One important feature of the protocol was the use of an internal cell line control, giving an automatic compensation for potential differences in the hybridization steps. This protocol was tested successfully on cell lines and clinical samples from bone marrow, blood, lymph nodes and tonsils. A significant correlation was found between Southern blotting and Q-FISHFCMtelomere length values ( P = 0.002). The mean sub-telomeric DNA length of the tested cell lines and clinical samples was estimated to be 3.2 kbp. With the Q-FISHFCMmethod the fluorescence signal could be determined in different cell cycle phases, indicating that in human cells the vast majority of telomeric DNA is replicated early in S phase.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
TWEEN® 20, for molecular biology, viscous liquid
Sigma-Aldrich
TWEEN® 20, Low-peroxide; Low-carbonyls