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MP Biomedicals™ 2-Mercaptoethanol, Electrophoresis Grade

2-Mercaptoethanol, Electrophoresis Grade reduces disulfide linkages in solubilizing proteins for gel electrophoresis.

Supplier:  MP Biomedicals™ 04806443

Catalog No. 04-806-443

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  • 2-Mercaptoethanol is used to reduce disulfide linkages in solubilizing proteins for gel electrophoresis (typically used in SDS-PAGE sample buffer at 5% concentration).
  • Also reduces excess oxidative polymerization of catalysts.
  • Cleaving intermolecular (between subunits) disulfide bonds allows the subunits of a protein to separate independently on SDS-PAGE.
  • Cleaving intramolecular (within subunit) disulfide bonds allows the subunits to become completely denatured so that each peptide migrates according to its chain length with no influence due to secondary structure.
  • In solution, 2-mercaptoethanol is readily oxidized in air to a disulfide, especially at alkaline pH. Because of this property, it is widely used to protect proteins, enzymes in particular, from becoming inactive.
  • An excess of 2-mercaptoethanol (generally used at 0.01 M) will maintain the protein thiol groups in their reduced state.


  • Miscible with water, alcohol, ether and benzene.
  • Solutions containing even trace levels (nanomolar) of some metal salts (especially copper (II) or cobalt(II)) are unstable at pH >5 and progressively less stable at higher pH values.
  • Most buffers (especially phosphate) contain enough metal salts to lead to substantial loss of -SH within 1 to 2 days.
  • The addition of EDTA helps to stabilize solutions.
  • If diluted product needs to be stored, it is recommended to store at pH 6 to 7 with EDTA (0.05 mM) at 2 to 8°C for no more than 2 to 3 days; however, we highly recommend adding neat 2-mercaptoethanol as needed to the sample.


5.0 (0.1 M in water)
1.114 g/mL at 25°C
25 g
Miscible with water, alcohol, ether and benzene.
78.13 g/mol
68°C (154.4°F)
1 mm Hg at 20°C
β-Mercaptoethanol, 2-Hydroxyethylmercaptan, BME, Thioethylene glycol, 2-Hydroxy-1-ethanethiol, Monothioethyleneglycol


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