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Difference Between Benzonase and DENARASE®

Published On 10/26/2023 3:52 PM

Benzonase and DENARASE® are instrumental nucleases utilized extensively in molecular biology and biopharmaceutical domains. The pivotal distinction between them emanates from their origin and the organisms they are derived from. Benzonase originates from Serratia marcescens, while DENARASE® is a recombinant endonuclease hailing from Bacillus subtilis, engineered by c-LEcta for heightened activity. 

What is Benzonase: 

Benzonase is a meticulously engineered endonuclease from Serratia marcescens. Characterized as a non-specific nuclease, it possesses the capability to degrade both DNA and RNA, thereby serving as an invaluable asset in reducing the viscosity of nucleic acid-laden solutions and eradicating nucleic acid contamination in protein formulations. It is a registered trademark of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, and is revered for its effectiveness across a broad pH spectrum (6-10) and temperatures up to 65°C, albeit with a propensity to lose activity over time. 


DENARASE®, crafted as a recombinant endonuclease in Bacillus subtilis by the German biotechnology entity c-LEcta, mirrors Benzonase in its non-specific nuclease attribute, thus capable of degrading both DNA and RNA. It is particularly favored in the biopharmaceutical realm for similar applications to Benzonase, albeit optimized for certain production protocols, especially in degrading host-cell DNA. 

Similarities Between Benzonase and DENARASE®

  • Both Benzonase and DENARASE® are recognized as non-specific nucleases with the prowess to degrade both DNA and RNA. 
  • ​They are indispensable tools for managing nucleic acid contamination and curbing the viscosity of nucleic acid-containing solutions across a myriad of biotechnological and pharmaceutical endeavors. 
Table1: Side by Side Comparison – Benzonase vs DENARASE®





Serratia marcescens 

Bacillus subtilis


Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany 

c-LEcta, Germany 


Non-specific (DNA and RNA)

Non-specific (DNA and RNA)


Biopharmaceutical manufacturing, nucleic acid removal, viscosity reduction.

Biopharmaceutical manufacturing, nucleic acid removal, viscosity reduction, optimized for certain production processes.


May face supply constraints due to proprietary nature.

Potentially better availability owing to non-proprietary nature.

Cost and Supply Chain

Generally higher-priced and available from a single-source supplier, Merck. 

Marketed as a cost-effective alternative, it is available from a single-source supplier, c-LEcta. However, additional distributors like Biohippo Inc. in Maryland offer significant supply chain advantages, including 24-hour shipping for in-stock items.

Summary: Both Benzonase and DENARASE® play vital roles in managing nucleic acid contamination across biopharmaceutical and biotechnological arenas, albeit with divergent origins and manufacturing backgrounds that may impact their availability and cost. The choice between the two could be swayed by specific project requirements, cost factors, and distinct applications within the molecular biology or biopharmaceutical manufacturing spheres. DENARASE® garners attention for its remarkable activity and stability, positioning it as a notable competitor in the industry. Should your core goals center around attaining paramount purity and efficiency, DENARASE® presents itself as the most encompassing solution on offer. 

This entry was posted in Application and Technique Notes