The advancement of telomere quantification methods

Albert Dweck, Radhashree Maitra

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Telomeres, guanine rich DNA sequences, which are found at both ends of human chromosomes, play a vital role in genome protection. These repetitive nucleotide sequences protect the genome from nucleolytic degradation, unnecessary recombination, and interchromosomal fusion. Though, as somatic cells go through replication cycles, their telomeres shrink until they reach a critical length called the Hayflick limit. At this limit, cellular senescence, an irreversible cell cycle arrest, is prompted. For all the above reasons, telomere length is a hopeful biomarker for age-associated diseases and cancer. While there are numerous methods for telomere measurement and quantification, there are still challenges for routine analysis in clinics as these methods are not simple and rapid. Recently, a new method has been developed that measures absolute length and absolute quantities of single telomere molecules. This method, single telomere absolute-length rapid (STAR) assay, which promises to measure telomere length rapidly and accurately, is also expected to be scalable. This review will discuss different telomere length measurement methods, including STAR assay, and will highlight each of their advantages and drawbacks. It will culminate in determining if STAR assay has the potential to be the superior method for telomere measurement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5621-5627
Number of pages7
JournalMolecular Biology Reports
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • PCR
  • Quantification
  • STAR Assay
  • Telomere

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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