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

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