Droplet Digital TRAP (ddTRAP): Adaptation of the Telomere Repeat Amplification Protocol to Droplet Digital Polymerase Chain Reaction

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The telomere repeat amplification protocol (TRAP) is the most widely used assay to detect telomerase activity within a given a sample. The polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based method allows for robust measurements of enzyme activity from most cell lysates. The gel-based TRAP with fluorescently labeled primers limits sample throughput, and the ability to detect differences in samples is restricted to two fold or greater changes in enzyme activity. The droplet digital TRAP, ddTRAP, is a highly sensitive approach that has been modified from the traditional TRAP assay, enabling the user to perform a robust analysis on 96 samples per run and obtain absolute quantification of the DNA (telomerase extension products) input within each PCR. Therefore, the newly developed ddTRAP assay overcomes the limitations of the traditional gel-based TRAP assay and provides a more efficient, accurate, and quantitative approach to measuring telomerase activity within laboratory and clinical settings.