RNA denaturant: methylmercuric hydroxide

Niccy.Scholfield Scholfield at bchm.unp.ac.za
Thu Aug 3 08:37:23 EST 1995

I need to denature my double-stranded viral RNA before I do RT-PCR and it 
seems that methylmercuric hydroxide is the best way to do this, being 
reversible by reaction with thiol compounds. The ubiquitous Molecular 
Cloning (2nd Ed) by Sambrook, Fritsch and Maniatis refers to said compund 
and its use in denaturing gels for RNA size fractionation, but I have not 
been able to find the compound for sale in *any* of a number of catalogues 
(Merck, Sigma, Promega, Fluka, Boerhinger Mannheim etc), in any version of 
its molecular formula (CH3HgOH or CH4HgO) or as mercury, hydroxymethyl or 
hydroxymethyl mercury or as methylated mercuric hydroxide! If someone can 
please tell me where I can get hold of some of this mysteriously unavailable 
chemical, I would be delighted!

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