Specific Deamination of RNA by Sodium Bisulphite

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THE ability of nitrous acid to deaminate the cytosine residues of nucleic acids to uracil has made it valuable both as a mutagen1,2 and as an aid to studies of the structure3 and function4,5 of nucleic acids. Its use is, however, complicated by the fact that it also deaminates the adenine and guanine residues in nucleic acids6,7. Guanine, the reaction of which is least desirable for mutagenic purposes, is usually the base most reactive to nitrous acid8. In addition, nitrous acid causes the formation of nitro compounds8, the cross-linking of DNA (ref. 9), the destruction of guanine residues10, and other side reactions which diminish its usefulness.

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SHAPIRO, R., COHEN, B. & SERVIS, R. Specific Deamination of RNA by Sodium Bisulphite. Nature 227, 1047–1048 (1970) doi:10.1038/2271047a0

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