Reducing agent - 2-Mercaptoethanol
2-Mercaptoethanol, also known as β-mercaptoethanol or BME, is a chemical compound with the molecular formula C₂H₆OS. It is a strong reducing agent and is widely used in biological and biochemical applications. Some of its key properties and applications include:
- Thiol (sulfhydryl) group: Highly reactive and capable of donating electrons.
- Reducing properties: Effective in breaking disulfide bonds in proteins.
Biological and Biochemical Applications:
- Protein denaturation and unfolding.
- Cell culture: Reducing agent to protect cells from toxic effects of reactive oxygen species (ROS) .
- RNA and DNA studies: Inhibits ribonucleases and deoxyribonucleases to preserve nucleic acid integrity.
- Polyacrylamide Gel Electrophoresis (PAGE): Denatures proteins and maintains them in a reduced state during electrophoresis.
- Toxic if swallowed, inhaled, or in contact with skin.
- Causes severe eye irritation and may result in corneal injury.
- May cause nausea, headache, dizziness, unconsciousness, and coma when inhaled in high concentrations.
- Prolonged or repeated skin contact may cause defatting and dermatitis.
While 2-mercaptoethanol is a valuable reagent, it should be handled with care due to its strong odor and toxicity. Appropriate protective measures, such as working in a well-ventilated area and using personal protective equipment, should be taken
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