Working with RNA

Methods Mol Biol. 2011:703:15-28. doi: 10.1007/978-1-59745-248-9_2.


Working with RNA is not a special discipline in molecular biology. However, RNA is chemically and structurally different from DNA and a few simple work rules have to be implemented to maintain the integrity of the RNA. Alkaline pH, high temperatures, and heavy metal ions should be avoided when possible and ribonucleases kept in check. The chapter outlines the specific precautions recommended for work with RNA and describes some of the modifications to standard protocols in molecular biology that are relevant to RNA work. The methods are applicable to all types of RNA and require a minimum of specialized equipment.

MeSH terms

  • Chemistry Techniques, Analytical / methods*
  • Diethyl Pyrocarbonate / metabolism
  • Electrophoresis / methods
  • Genetic Techniques*
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Metals / metabolism
  • Nucleotides / metabolism
  • Preservation, Biological / methods
  • RNA / genetics*
  • RNA / isolation & purification
  • RNA / metabolism
  • Ribonucleases / metabolism
  • Spectrophotometry, Ultraviolet / methods
  • Temperature


  • Metals
  • Nucleotides
  • RNA
  • Ribonucleases
  • Diethyl Pyrocarbonate