RNA Stabilization Solution is an aqueous, non-toxic tissue storage reagent that protects RNA within intact, unfrozen samples. RNAlater® was designed to eliminate the need to immediately process tissue samples or to freeze samples in liquid nitrogen for later processing. Recently, Dr. Christian Koppelstaetter and colleagues (Medical University Innsbruck, Austria and Medical University of Silesia, Poland) completed a study using quantitative PCR (qPCR) to look at telomeric DNA. They found that while tissues processed immediately or treated with RNAlater produced similar results, formaldehyde-fixed tissue generated inconsistent measurements of telomere length .
Research on Aging and Telomere Length
RNAlater, but Not Formaldehyde, Stabilizes DNA in Archived Samples
At all time points, RNA later-treated samples gave results essentially identical to the reference sample for relative telomere length. In contrast, formaldehyde fixation caused an apparent time-dependent increase in relative telomere length, which was mainly due to inconsistencies in the amplification of the single copy gene PCR products. Formaldehyde, which is known to denature double-stranded DNA at AT-rich regions, destabilized genomic DNA in the samples, so that amplification of the longer PCR products assessed in this study had the most variability. In contrast, RNA later has been proven to stabilize RNA and is now shown to preserve DNA within tissues. For additional details, see Koppelstaetter, et al. .
- Koppelstaetter C, Jennings P, Hochegger K, Perco P, Ischia R, Karkoszka H, Mayer G (2005) Effect of tissue fixatives on telomere length determination by quantitative PCR, Mech Ageing Dev 126(12): 1331–1333. Epub 2005 Sep 22.