Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and related techniques can amplify very small amounts of nucleic acid. This level of sensitivity creates its own drawbacks, primarily the amplification of undesirable, contaminating nucleic acids along with the desired sequence, and sometimes at the expense of the desired sequence. DNAZap
™ (patent pending) consists of two solutions that are innocuous by themselves, but which become a potent nucleic acid degrading solution when mixed. This mixture is able to degrade high levels of contaminating DNA and RNA from surfaces instantaneously (Figure 1). DNAZap provides a convenient method to decontaminate a variety of surfaces in a matter of minutes. It even effectively eliminates contaminating DNA in PCR tubes without inhibiting subsequent enzymatic reactions. All contaminating nucleic acid is degraded to nucleotides, preventing any chance of false positive amplification.
Effect of Various DNA Decontamination Solutions on Radiolabeled PCR Products. A PCR reaction was performed incorporating [alpha32
P]dATP. The reaction was split into equal aliquots and dried to completion in a vacuum microcentrifuge. 10 µl of each test solution was added to one of the aliquots, vortexed and incubated at room temperature for 5 min. The reactions were assessed on a 5% polyacrylamide gel and exposed to film.