Heat inactivation is a convenient method for stopping a restriction endonuclease reaction. Incubation at 65°C for 20 minutes inactivates the majority of restriction endonucleases that have an optimal incubation temperature of 37°C. Enzymes that cannot be inactivated at 65°C can often be inactivated by incubation at 80°C for 20 minutes. The table below indicates whether or not an enzyme can be heat inactivated and the temperature needed to do so.
For enzymes that cannot be heat-inactivated, we recommend using a column for cleanup (such as the Monarch® PCR & DNA Cleanup Kit), or running the reaction on an agarose gel and then extracting the DNA (we recommend Monarch Gel Extraction Kit), or performing a phenol/chloroform extraction.
Heat inactivation was performed as follows to approximate a typical experiment. A 50 µl reaction mixture containing the appropriate NEBuffer, 0.5 µg of calf thymus DNA, and 5 or 10 µl of restriction endonuclease (at selling concentration) was incubated at 37°C for 60 minutes and then at 65°C or 80°C for 20 minutes. 0.5 µg of substrate DNA (usually lambda) was added to the reaction mixture and incubated at the optimal reaction temperature of the enzyme for 60 minutes. Any digestion (complete or partial) of the substrate DNA after the second incubation, as seen by agarose gel electrophoresis, was interpreted as incomplete heat inactivation.
Please also check these additional information about:
NEBuffer Activity | Activity at 37°C | Time-Saver Enzymes