Previously, we’ve been discussing the function of various reducing agents. There are a number of reducing agents that are available at Gold Bio: DTT (dithiothreitol), DTE (dithioerythritol), L-glutathione (GSH) and TCEP (Tris (2-Carboxyethyl) phosphine hydrochloride). By definition, reducing agents are elements or compounds that donate an electron to an oxidizer compound. The agent of the day is DTE (dithioerythritol).

DTE is an epimer of DTT (dithiothreitol), where the two hydroxyl groups of the oxidized, disulfide-bond form of the compound are in the cis form (rather than the trans form of DTT). Traditionally both have been called Cleland’s reagents synonymously. DTE is a strong reducer for the same reasons as DTT; the stable oxidized ring structure (with its internal disulfide bond) makes it hard to oxidize back into its reduced form and easier to complete the reduction of the disulfide bonds of a protein. DTE is considered to have a slightly lower reduction potential than its sister compound because of the cis state of its hydroxyl groups. But it is still considered to be one of the best reducing agents available!

DTE has been utilized in a wide variety of research over the years and cited in literally thousands of articles since its initial discovery by Cleland in 1964. From 2-D electrophoretic analysis of proteins and immunoglobulins, research into glial and neuronal transport, the glycation of hemoglobin in GSH-deficient red blood cells, to the more recent determination of steroidal hormones in saliva samples. DTE and the other reducing compounds sold by Gold Bio continue to be crucial reagents in scientific discovery and experimentation. For instance, Alessandro Cavallo et al. are using it to determine the CPT-I (Carnitine palmitoyltransferase–I) activity in rat liver tissue. CPT-I is the primary enzyme in control of fatty acid oxidation and the hepatic mitochondrial β-oxidation flux. Their work may one day elucidate the roles such enzymes play in response to critical thyroid hormones in the development of liver steatosis and rat adiposity.


Fialka, Irene, et al. "Subcellular fractionation of polarized epithelial cells and identification of organelle‐specific proteins by two‐dimensional gel electrophoresis." Electrophoresis 18.14 (1997): 2582-2590.

Layer, Andréas, et al. "Micropurification and two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of immunoglobulins for studying the clonal diversity of antigen-specific antibodies." Journal of immunological methods 227.1 (1999): 137-148.

Jain, Sushil K. "Glutathione and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency can increase protein glycosylation." Free Radical Biology and Medicine 24.1 (1998): 197-201.

Oh, Jin-Aa, and Ho-Sang Shin. "Rapid determination of natural steroidal hormones in saliva for the clinical diagnoses." Chemistry Central Journal 6.1 (2012): 22.

Cavallo, Alessandro, et al. "3, 5-Diiodo-L-Thyronine Administration to Hypothyroid Rats Rapidly Enhances Fatty Acid Oxidation Rate and Bioenergetic Parameters in Liver Cells." PLOS ONE 8.1 (2013): e52328.

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