WARF: P140284US01

New Disulfide-Bond Reducing Agent


Ronald Raines, John Lukesh

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is seeking commercial partners interested in developing a reducing agent for disulfide bonds that outperforms DTT or any other known dithiol.
OVERVIEWDisulfide bonds between cysteine residues are the most common crosslinking agents in proteins. Reducing these bonds is an ordinary procedure in biochemistry and biotechnology. The most commonly used reducing agent is dithiothreitol (DTT or “Cleland’s Reagent”).

Despite its high cost, DTT is potent and remains the standard reagent for reducing disulfide bonds in biomolecules. At physiological pH levels, however, DTT becomes sluggish and unreactive. There remains a need for new and cheaper reducing agents that can be utilized in biological systems.
THE INVENTIONUW–Madison researchers have developed a fast-working pyrazine dithiol that can be prepared from inexpensive starting material. The new reagent, 2,3-bis(mercaptomethyl)pyrazine (BMMP), is synthesized in three simple steps from the commonplace aromatic chemical 2,3-dimethylpyrazine.
  • Research and synthetic reagents
  • Reducing or preventing the formation of disulfide bonds
  • Regulating the function of proteins with sulfhydryl group-associated activity
  • Enhancing the activity/preventing inactivation of biomolecules in vivo or in vitro
  • Shows enhanced reactivity under biological conditions
  • Lower thiol pKa than DTT
  • Works up to 10 times faster
  • Less odor
  • Simpler molecule
  • Synthesized readily from cheaper starting materials
STAGE OF DEVELOPMENTBMMP has been shown to reduce protein disulfide bonds in vitro.
Contact Information
For current licensing status, please contact Jennifer Gottwald at or 608-960-9854.
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