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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1978 Jul 24;519(2):461-73.

Inhibition of ribonuclease. Efficacy of sodium dodecyl sulfate, diethyl pyrocarbonate, protein ase K and heparin using a sensitive ribonuclease assay.


The effectiveness of several commonly used inhibitors of ribonuclease (RNAase) has been studied using the removal of radio-labelled leucine from leucyl-tRNA as a sensitive assay for RNAase activity. The inhibitors were tested under a variety of conditions, varying the temperature, the pH, and the source of RNAase. When each inhibitor is udes separately in the presence of pancreatic RNAase, sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) is the most effective; but during long exposures to temperatures above 0 degrees C considerable amounts of RNA are still degraded. Combination of inhibitors are more effective in preserving RNA; with this assay, a combination of SDS with diethyl pyrocarbonate is the most effective. Proteinase K acts as an inhibitor when used in combination with SDS; however, it has RNAase activity when used by itself. Diethyl pyrocarbonate, when used at the high range of concentrations employed by others for RNAase inhibition, reacts with RNA changing its charge. However, when diethyl pyrocarbonate is used in smaller amounts the effects on RNA are minimal, and when used in combination with SDS it effectively inhibits RNAase.

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