Guanidium Thiocyanate Lysis Buffers


Lysis Buffers to Extract Viral RNA

Guanidine thiocyanate is a potent chaotropic agent; thus, by interfering with the hydrogen bond network in aqueous solutions, it has a destabilizing effect on macromolecules, especially proteins.

It is commonly used in cells and the lysis processes in virus particles to extract nucleic acids, as it denatures RNAse and DNAse enzymes1 that would otherwise damage the extract. In the recent COVID-19 pandemic, this has found extensive application among researchers in the extraction of nucleic acid from SARS-Cov-2 virus for vaccine research and development.

GITC lysis buffers to extract viral RNA are in growing demand, linked to the use of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) based assays.


Buffer composition:

  • 4 M Guanidinium thiocyanate (GITC)
  • 55 mM* Tris-HCl
  • 25 mM EDTA (Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid)
  • (v/v) Triton X-100
    % (w/v) Bromophenol blue
  • (*NOTE: calculated from the total amount of 0.1 M Tris pH 7.6 added.)

For methods and product listing:

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Guanidine Thiocyanate

Guanidinium thiocyanate or guanidinium isothiocyanate is used as a general protein denaturant, being a chaotropic agent, although it is most commonly used as a nucleic acid protector in molecular biology application of DNA and RNA extraction from cells.

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