Let's admit it, everyone who has worked with RNA has, at some point, been affected by RNase contamination. Sources of contaminating RNase include procedures that use RNase such as plasmid preps and nuclease protection assays. Bacterial cultures grown for plasmid preps or cloning, and bacterial products, such as some restriction enzymes can be a source of RNase. Microorganisms in the air, on surfaces, in one's solutions or water supply are environmental sources of RNase. Even you are a source of RNase. Human skin and body fluids such as saliva, tears and mucus, can contain RNases (so don't cry over your samples). Because RNases exhibit such a common presence in routine lab research, it is essential to develop a program of RNase control involving reagent preparation and testing, routine decontamination, and the use of certified RNase-free reagents and equipment such as microfuge tubes and pipette tips. See below for a schedule for maintaining an RNase-free lab. 

Ordering Information

Catalog # Name Size List Price (USD) Qty
4387936 Nuclease-Free Water (not DEPC-Treated) 4 x 1,000 mL 157.00
AM12225 Thin-walled, frosted lid, RNase-free PCR tubes (0.2 mL) 1,000 tubes 139.00
AM12250 Thin-walled, dome cap, RNase-free PCR tubes (0.5 mL) 1,000 tubes 106.00
AM12275 Thin-walled, frosted lid, RNase-free PCR tubes (0.5 mL) 1,000 tubes 111.00
AM12300 RNase-free Microfuge Tubes (0.5 mL) 1000 tubes 83.50
AM12350 Nonstick, RNase-free Microfuge Tubes, 0.5 mL 500 tubes 67.25
AM12400 RNase-free Microfuge Tubes (1.5 mL) 500 tubes 49.20
AM12425 RNase-free Microfuge Tubes (2.0 ml) 500 tubes 58.00
AM12450 Nonstick, RNase-free Microfuge Tubes, 1.5 mL 250 tubes 49.80
AM12475 Nonstick, RNase-free Microfuge Tubes, 2.0 mL 250 tubes 58.00
AM12635 Barrier (Filter) Tips, 10 μL size (compatible with Eppendorf® pipettors) 10 racks 158.00
AM12640 Barrier (Filter) Tips, 10 μL size (compatible with Pipetman™ pipettors) 10 racks 164.00
AM12645 Barrier (Filter) Tips, 20 μL size 10 racks 158.00
AM12650 RNase-free Tips, 200 μL size 10 racks 104.00
AM12655 Barrier (Filter) Tips, 200 μL size 10 racks 158.00
AM12660 RNase-free Tips, 1,000 μL size 10 racks 106.00
AM12665 Barrier (Filter) Tips, 1,000 μL size 10 racks 162.00
AM1964 RNaseAlert® Lab Test Kit 25 reactions 219.00
AM1966 RNaseAlert® QC System 480 assays 860.00
AM2682 RNase Inhibitor (Cloned) 40 U/μL 2,500 units 124.00
AM2684 RNase Inhibitor (Cloned) 40 U/μL 10,000 units 343.00
AM2690 ANTI-RNase (15-30 U/μL) 2,500 units 92.75
AM2692 ANTI-RNase (15-30 U/μL) 10,000 units 305.00
AM2694 SUPERase• In™ RNase Inhibitor (20 U/μL) 2,500 units 125.00
AM2696 SUPERase• In™ RNase Inhibitor (20 U/μL) 10,000 units 351.00
AM7005 RNAsecure™ RNase Inactivation Reagent 1 mL 32.60
AM7006 RNAsecure™ RNase Inactivation Reagent 10 mL 164.00
AM7010 RNAsecure™ Resuspension Solution (1 ml Tube) 10 tubes 105.00
AM9010 Buffer Kit 1 set 173.00
AM9780 RNaseZap® RNase Decontamination Solution 250 mL 63.50
AM9782 RNaseZap® RNase Decontamination Solution 6 x 250 mL 284.00
AM9784 RNaseZap® RNase Decontamination Solution 4 L 560.00
AM9786 RNaseZap® RNase Decontamination Wipes 100 sheets 75.50
AM9788 RNaseZap® RNase Decontamination Wipes Refill 300 sheets 173.00
AM9930 Nuclease-Free Water (not DEPC-Treated) 1 x 500 mL 56.00
AM9932 Nuclease-Free Water (not DEPC-Treated) 1 x 1,000 mL 75.50
AM9937 Nuclease-Free Water (not DEPC-Treated) 10 x 50 mL 95.75
AM9938 Nuclease-Free Water (not DEPC-Treated) 1 x 100 mL 29.80
AM9939 Nuclease-Free Water (not DEPC-Treated) 5 x 100 mL 89.75

Schedule For RNase Control

Ambion scientists recommend the following schedule for RNase contamination control:

  • Daily
    Use Ambion's certified RNase-free buffers and reagents
    Use Ambion's certified RNase-free consumables, such as microcentrifuge tubes and pipette tips
    Use Ribonuclease Inhibitor Protein and/or ANTI-RNase in reactions such as in vitro transcription and RT-PCR
  • Weekly
    Thoroughly clean lab benchtops, pipettors (see sidebar below) and tube racks with RNaseZap®
  • Monthly
    Test water source for RNase using RNaseAlert - distilled deionized or ultrapure water is often RNase-free without DEPC treatment (see "RNase and DEPC Treatment, Fact or Laboratory Myth?")
  • As Needed
    Test bench-prepared reagents for RNase with RNaseAlert
    Clean electrophoresis equipment with RNaseZap prior to use with RNA
    Use aerosol resistant pipette tips when performing procedures that incorporate the use of RNase   

How to Decontaminate Pipettors with RNaseZap®


Routine cleaning of pipettors with an RNase decontamination solution like Ambion's RNaseZap can greatly reduce the likelihood of sample loss due to RNase contamination. To decontaminate pipettors, carefully remove the pipettor shaft and ejector from the pipettor body. Be careful not to loosen the small seal and o-ring on the end of the plunger. Squirt RNaseZap into the shaft and wipe the shaft exterior and tip ejector with an RNaseZap-saturated paper towel. The same paper towel can be used to carefully wipe the pipettor body. Immediately wipe off any excess RNaseZap. Be careful that the paper towel is not so wet that liquid could seep into the pipettor. Rinse the shaft and ejector with RNase-free water to remove any RNaseZap residue. The water rinse can be followed by a brief ethanol rinse to expedite drying. Once shaft and ejector are dry, reassemble the pipettor.