Trichloroacetate and nucleic acids

Emir Khatipov ekhatipov at NOuchicago.edu
Mon Mar 22 21:45:37 EST 1999

Does anybody know whether trichloroacetate will destroy DNA and (more
importantly) RNA if used for rapid quenching of bacterial cells for further

The story is that I need a way to very rapidly and quantitatively isolate
total bacterial RNA. Conventional methods requiring centrifuging off cells
are too slow - seconds matter, and 1 min. will be too long. Since
biochemists use trichloroacetate of chlorate to denature protein and thus
instantly kill the cells, I thought that those acids can be useful. However,
I am not shore that the acids will not destroy (hydrolyse,...) NAs. What
about alkali?

I will appreciate everybody's considerations on the matter. Quenching with
azyde does not look a solution, azyde will inhibit respiration, but not
Thank you

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