How can I avoid little or no RNA yields when using an RNeasy Kit?
FAQ ID -28

Avoid RNA degradation due to improper sample storage and handling prior to the extraction procedure with RNeasy Kits. RNA in tissues is not protected after harvesting until the sample is treated with RNAlater RNA Stabilization Reagent, flash frozen, or disrupted and homogenized in the presence of RNase-inhibiting or denaturing reagents. Samples can be immediately flash frozen in liquid nitrogen and stored at –70°C as soon as they are harvested or excised. Frozen tissue should not be allowed to thaw during handling or weighing, but cell pellets can partially thaw enough to allow them to be dislodged by flicking. The relevant procedures should be carried out as quickly as possible. Samples can also be stored at –70°C in lysis buffer (Buffer RLT) after disruption and homogenization. Frozen samples are stable for months.

For optimal RNA yields with RNeasy Kits it is crucial to:

  • efficiently disrupt and homogenize the starting material
  • use the correct amount of starting material (do not overload!)
  • perform all protocol steps at room temperature
  • perform the dry-spin prior to elution as described in the relevant protocol for a full 5 minutes
  • prepare the 80% ethanol for the wash steps with RNase-free water only
  • dispense the RNase-free water for elution onto the center of the membrane
  • optionally, repeat the elution step, and incubate the spin column on the bench for 10 minutes with RNase-free water before centrifuging

Please review the instructions in the relevant RNeasy Handbook carefully for best results.