microwave restrictions revisited

fred wouters at chem.ruu.nl
Thu Jan 26 12:58:20 EST 1995

Hi everybody,

I know it's an old story....
if you "heat up" a restriction enzyme the reaction goes faster. Probable
explanation twofold: *1* it's nonsense, the amount of restriction enzyme
is often so high that the reaction occurs in a few minutes and the
incubation of 1 hour is unneccessary. I'm having a hard time believing
that, I've had too much experience with too low doses of enzyme...
*2* enzymes vibrate, restriction enzymes work by "pulling and pushing" on
chemical bonds thereby lowering the energy needed to break it. By adding
E.M. energy in the range of the OH frequency (e.g. water in microwave,
but why not proteins?) you can enhance the vibration of the enzyme,
thereby increasing the rate.
I was told that there were threads on this subject, but I missed them.
What I'd like to know is: can anyone give me an general overview of the
results of different persons (does it work, with which enzymes?) and the
conditions used (how long, what intervals) and is there anything
mentioned in the (paper)literature ?
I'm abroad for quite a long time and here I can't do any molec. biol.
work but I'd sure like to spend an afternoon on testing this when I'm
Wouldn't it be graet to do a restriction in the time you pour a gel
instead of waiting for an hour doing nothing?
If anybody would do me the favour of sharing his opinion or experience,
I'd surely appreciate it. 


Fred W.

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