Need Help?

High-throughput telomere length measurement at nucleotide resolution using the PacBio high fidelity sequencing platform, P49-P104 and run1 replicates

Telomeres are specialized nucleoprotein structures at the ends of linear chromosomes that are essential for the stability as well as the complete replication of the human genome. The progressive shortening of steady-state telomere length in normal human somatic cells is a promising biomarker for age-associated diseases. However, there remain substantial challenges in quantifying telomere length in clinics and research laboratories due to the lack of accurate and high-throughput telomere length measurement method. Here, we describe a novel workflow to capture and analyze telomeres accurately at the single-nucleotide resolution. By using newly designed telobaits that are complementary to the single-stranded G-rich 3’ telomeric overhangs, we can specifically and efficiently capture full-length telomeres and subject them to single-molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing. We show that the telomere length can be measured at nucleotide resolution using the PacBio high fidelity (HiFi) sequencing platform, which provides the necessary accuracy and throughput to uncover the steady-state telomere length distribution in human culture cell lines as well as clinical patient samples. This new method is a valuable tool not only in population-wide epidemiology studies but also for the longitudinal assessment of telomere attrition in individuals. Our results also reveal the extreme heterogeneity of telomeric variant sequences (TVSs) that is dispersed throughout the telomere repeat region. Importantly, the unique distribution pattern and sequence of TVSs in individuals may be used as a fingerprint for sample identification. In addition, the presence of TVSs disrupts the continuity of the canonical (5’-TTAGGG-3’)n telomere repeats, which could affect the binding of shelterin complexes at the chromosomal ends. Therefore, TVSs may act as a form of genetic polymorphisms that impairs telomere protection. Together with the absolute telomere length in each individual, TVSs may have profound implications in human aging and diseases.

Click on a Dataset ID in the table below to learn more, and to find out who to contact about access to these data

Dataset ID Description Technology Samples
EGAD00001009397 Sequel 68
Publications Citations
High-throughput telomere length measurement at nucleotide resolution using the PacBio high fidelity sequencing platform.
Nat Commun 14: 2023 281
13