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D5758 Sigma-Aldrich

Diethyl pyrocarbonate

≥97% (NMR)

Synonym: DEP, DEPC, Diethyl dicarbonate, Diethyl oxydiformate, Ethoxyformic acid anhydride

  • CAS Number 1609-47-8

  • Linear Formula O(COOC2H5)2

  • Molecular Weight 162.14

  •  Beilstein/REAXYS Number 637031

  •  EC Number 216-542-8

  •  MDL number MFCD00009106

  •  PubChem Substance ID 24893964

  •  NACRES NA.77



Related Categories Biochemicals, Biochemicals and Reagents, Carboxypeptidase P, Core Bioreagents, Enzyme Inhibitors,
Quality Level   200
biological source   synthetic (microbial fermentation/ cell culture)
assay   ≥97% (NMR)
form   liquid
refractive index   n20/D 1.398 (lit.)
bp   93-94 °C/18 mmHg (lit.)
density   1.101 g/mL at 25 °C (lit.)
shipped in   wet ice
storage temp.   2-8°C
InChI   1S/C6H10O5/c1-3-9-5(7)11-6(8)10-4-2/h3-4H2,1-2H3


General description

Diethyl Pyrocarbonate (DEPC) is a chemical use to inactivate RNase enzymes and is sensitive to moisture and pH. It decomposes at 155°C, to ethanol and carbon dioxide in aqueous solution. DEPC is also sensitive to ammonia, which causes decomposition to urethane, a possible carcinogen.


Diethyl pyrocarbonate has been used in PCR reaction for treating deionized water, which reduces the risk of RNA being degraded by RNases. It is also used for Dot blot hybridization, to dilute total RNA isolated from different micro-organisms.

Modification reagent for His and Tyr residues in proteins. Robust probe for structural disruptions in dsDNA, reacting with fully or partially unstacked bases.


5, 25, 50, 100 mL in glass bottle

Biochem/physiol Actions

DEPC is a potent nuclease inhibitor.0.1% solution of DEPC is used to inactive RNase.
It inhibits the ryanodine binding to ryanodine/Ca2+ receptor channels in skeletal muscle in a dose and time dependent manner and increases the Ca2+ permeability of SR vesicles.

Inactivates RNase in solution at about 0.1% (v/v), thus protecting RNA against degradation.

Safety & Documentation

Safety Information

GHS07  GHS07
Signal word 
Hazard statements 
Precautionary statements 
NA 1993 / PGIII
WGK Germany 
Flash Point(F) 
156.2 °F - closed cup
Flash Point(C) 
69 °C - closed cup

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the stability of Product D5758, Diethyl pyrocarbonate, at room temperature?
The material is stable at room temperature as long as it is protected from moisture. We do recommend 2-8 °C for its storage.
How can I tell if Product D5758, Diethyl pyrocarbonate, has degraded?
DEPC breaks down to ethanol and carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide builds up pressureinside the bottle; when opened, it will degas and/or bubble out of the bottle.
What buffers can I use with Product D5758, Diethyl pyrocarbonate(DEPC)?
DEPC reacts with amines, thiols, and alcohols. Any buffer that contains an amine, e.g.., Trizma, should not be used. View this information on the product information sheet (under Documents, above.
What type of container should I use to handleProduct D5758, Diethyl pyrocarbonate (DEPC)?
Glassware is preferable since some plastics, e.g.., polycarbonate,are known to react with DEPC.
Why is stirring or shaking necessary when making RNAse-free water for use with Product D5758, Diethyl pyrocarbonate?
DEPC is not very soluble in water. Stirring and/or shaking is necessary to suspend DEPC in water.
What is the best way to use Product D5758, Diethyl pyrocarbonate, to inactivate RNAse?
Add DEPC directly to the water to yield a 0.1 % solution. Shake vigorously and allow to set overnight at room temperature with the lid loose or incubated for 2 hours at 37 °C. The solution is then autoclaved 15 minutes for each liter.
Which document(s) contains shelf-life or expiration date information for a given product?
If available for a given product, the recommended re-test date or the expiration date can be found on the Certificate of Analysis.
How do I get lot-specific information or a Certificate of Analysis?
The lot specific COA document can be found by entering the lot number above under the "Documents" section.
How do I find price and availability?
There are several ways to find pricing and availability for our products. Once you log onto our website, you will find the price and availability displayed on the product detail page. You can contact any of our Customer Sales and Service offices to receive a quote. USA customers: 1-800-325-3010 or view local office numbers.
What is the Department of Transportation shipping information for this product?
Transportation information can be found in Section 14 of the product's (M)SDS.To access the shipping information for this material, use the link on the product detail page for the product.
My question is not addressed here, how can I contact Technical Service for assistance?
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