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DMPC is an acronym for di-methyl pyrocarbonate (AKA: dimethyl dicarbonate, pyrocarbonic acid dimethyl ester).
- DMPC is typically used to treat water to remove RNases. It reacts with amine, hydroxy and thiol groups of proteins (such as RNAses) and inactivates RNAses.
- You can buy DMPC for example at Sigma.
- DMPC is a safer alternative to DEPC (known carcinogen). It is used in exactly the same way.
- Treatment involves adding DMPC to 0.1% v/v and incubating at 37°C for 1 hour to overnight followed by autoclaving. Autoclaving destroys DMPC and is an essential step. Esters may be generated during autoclaving giving rise to a 'fruity' smell (that is not coming directly from DMPC).
- Note that DMPC cannot be used with chemical solutions that have amine groups, such as Tris and HEPES buffers, or mercaptans. In such cases, use DMPC-treated water to generate the solution.
- DMPC is a safer alternative to DEPC (known carcinogen).