With COVID-19 ever present on our minds, viral research is being focused on now more than anything else. We at AG Scientific have remained open to meet the needs of the research community and are stocking chemical agents such as guanidine thiocyanate.
Read on to learn more about this chemical and how it can aid your lab research.
What Is Guanidine Thiocyanate?
Guanidine thiocyanate is a water and ethanol soluble reagent used to study protein denaturation, cell signaling and function, and gene expression.
It is commonly used in high concentrations to extract and isolate RNA samples because it has the ability to inhibit RNase. RNase is responsible for kickstarting the process that breaks down RNA into smaller components, making it harder or even impossible to keep a sample intact.
It also allows researchers to study viral samples in order to find effective preventative solutions, so you as can imagine it is in high demand right now.
Denaturation is an induced state by external stressors or chemical compounds like guanidine thiocyanate. It is when the protein is stimulated to lose its structure or unfold, like in the case of unfolding the structure of the superfolder protein “GFP”.
As mentioned in our previous blog article, the proper folding of a protein matrix is essential for normal and healthy functionality. If proteins do not fold correctly and mutate, they won’t be able to do their job, or worse, can become harmful or even deadly to the biological host.
In this specific case mentioned above, guanidine thiocyanate is used to unfold the protein structure in order to study it and its mechanisms.
In addition, guanidine thiocyanate is a chaotropic agent, meaning it can be added to water solutions with proteins and weaken their structure by way of weakening proteins’ hydrophobic properties.
Isolation & Extraction of RNA
RNA and DNA are single helix and double helix strand molecules, respectively, that form our genetic makeup.
They are made of differing nucleobases, and RNA codes amino acids as well as works with DNA & ribosomes in order to make protein structures.
In genome research it is imperative to extract full and complete RNA sequences, but unfortunately, the presence of RNase in RNA catalyzes the breakdown of these strands, which can make it impossible to study them. Using guanidine thiocyanate in varying methods to isolate and pull intact strand samples in a relatively short amount of time is proven to be extremely effective and preferable.
COVID-19 and Viral Testing Kits
In this pandemic and the race for the vaccine, guanidine thiocyanate is a key research component because of its ability to capture RNA sequences as well as break down proteins and cell structures for further analysis.
As we know, coronavirus attacks lung cells, causing severe to fatal respiratory conditions. Respiratory conditions are common causes for adults to be hospitalized even in normal times.
Guanidine thiocyanate can be utilized as a key compound in COVID testing kits that use the process of reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR).
RT-PCR is the choice method for viral diagnostic tests. It involves translating RNA sequences in a sample into cDNA for analysis. It involves purifying samples of viral RNA and DNA in order to detect the viral RNA and DNA strands.
There are multiple methods of harvesting and diagnosing a virus such as COVID-19. Guanidine thiocyanate is used as a part of a lysis buffer solution which isolates and extracts the viral RNA from a sample. This allows for relatively quick diagnosis of the virus in a subject.
It is so effective in fact that guanidine thiocyanate is becoming increasingly in-demand and therefore more scarce. Research scientists have been working on developing solutions which require less guanidine thiocyanate with the same results, so that testing can be shared and more widespread.
This is promising research, as the more people we can diagnose, the quicker this pandemic could be nearing its end!
The viability of guanidine thiocyanate as an aide in the diagnosis of COVID-19 could prove incredibly useful - even life-saving - in the year to come, and we are here to help.
Your Ally in Discovery
At AG Scientific, we stock guanidine thiocyanate in both solid and solution forms, alongside many other chemicals needed for COVID-19 research and beyond. Enzymes, ionophores, and more, and we tailor custom reagents to meet the needs of our consumers at an individual level.
We are still open during these difficult and unprecedented times to ensure you receive the best quality service and product.
We take the customer experience seriously and cut out unnecessary bureaucracy that might prolong an order being processed and delivered. This is because we take a direct one-to-one approach in serving our customers.
We pride ourselves in being able to offer such a personalized approach within such areas as medical technology and diagnostic materials, while still remaining competitive with other large life science distributors in the field.
Questions? Contact our team - we are here to support you and your research endeavors.
Be well and stay safe!