FAQ: I don't see any cleavage after my restriction digest. What factors can interfere with cleavage?
If you are having difficulty cleaving your DNA substrate, we recommend the following control reactions. Incubate experimental DNA without restriction enzyme (degradation of DNA indicates contamination in the DNA preparation or reaction buffer) and control DNA (DNA with multiple known sites for the enzyme, e.g. lambda or adenovirus-2 DNA) with restriction enzyme to more accurately judge whether or not the reaction went to completion. If the control DNA is cleaved and the experimental DNA resists cleavage, the two DNAs can be mixed to determine if an inhibitor is present in the experimental sample. If an inhibitor (often salt, EDTA or phenol) is present, the control DNA will not cut after mixing.