Andrew Warkman awarkman at
Tue Apr 21 08:49:54 EST 1998

In article <353BEE01.2652F33 at>, skpark at wrote:
>Dear Everyone:
>Sigma's reagent catalog saids that DEPC, usually used as RNase
>inhibitor, is hydrolyzed to ethanol and CO2. Then, how fast does it
>hydrolyze? If it works as the inhibitor, I think it must have time for
>binding to RNase. And what's the meaning of DEPC water? Does it means
>the water that inhibit RNase if I treat, or that has no active RNase?
>And how much toxic is it? I appreciated on any reply. Thanks.

DEPC is broken down to CO2 and H2O after autoclaving

Time for binding RNases: it is common practice to add 0.1% v/v DEPC to water, 
let it stir overnight, then autoclave it in the morning.  After autoclaving 
the water may still have a "bubble gum" scent. This is now DEPC treated water 
with no active RNAses but RNases can still be reintroduced since the DEPC is 
no longer present/active

DEPC is VERY TOXIC and should be added to any solutions in a proper 

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