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Cytogenet Cell Genet. 1999;85(3-4):196-9.

Chinese hamster telomeres are comparable in size to mouse telomeres.

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Department of Biology and Biochemistry, Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UK.


We report here the results of a telomere length analysis in four male Chinese hamsters by quantitative fluorescence in situ hybridization (Q-FISH). We were able to measure telomere length of 64 (73%) of 88 Chinese hamster telomeres. We could not measure telomere length in chromosome 10 or in the short arms of chromosomes 5, 6, 7 and 8 because of the overlaps between the interstitial and terminal telomeric signals. Our analysis in the 73% of Chinese hamster telomeres indicate that their average length is approximately 38 kb. Therefore, Chinese hamster telomeres are comparable in length to mouse telomeres, but are much longer than human telomeres. Similar to previous Q-FISH studies on human and mouse chromosomes, our results indicate that individual Chinese hamster chromosomes may have specific telomere lengths, suggesting that chromosome-specific factors may be involved in telomere length regulation.

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