Sergey Troianovsky Troianovsk_s at MSDISK.WUSTL.EDU
Tue Feb 21 20:25:53 EST 1995

>Could anyone enlighten me about the dangers of inhaling 2-mercaptoethanol?
>There seems to be disagreement about how harmful the stuff actually is,
>though certainly everyone agrees it reeks! Also, for this reason I thought
>DTT would be a better alternative for use in SDS PAGE reduction buffers.
>However, it does not seem to be very popular. Has anybody tried it with
>Tricine SDS PAGE?
>Thanks for your advise!
>Denni (ds4 at st-and.ac.uk)

It`s not dangers as one could think, neither inhalation, nor expose to skin.
But I assume you won`t smell it no longer. :-)

The reason why, let say in Laemmli sample buffer, ME is used more often than
DTT, just because instability of DTT at RT. So you should keep your DTT
containing buffer frozen, what is inconvenient. However, ME also decoys at
RT, while much-much slower. I found that boiling samples with ME results in
appearence of artifacts during silver staining, but may be it because of our
Fisher brand ME contamination. There were no such bands when I used DTT. So
the best solution is to make Laemmli sample buffer w/o reducing agent at
all, and have a frozen stock of let say 1 M DTT, which you will add to you
samples if needed just before the run. DTT also has more strong absobtion at
280 nm, what makes it difficult to use as a reducing agent during
Hope this helps,

Child says: "If All Fails Carefully Read the Manual"

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