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How Does DTT Affect Protein Structure?

After doing a comparative analysis of fish protein I have been asked "What was the purpose of heating the fish potein sample with DTT?"
I have found conflicting answers from: "stabilization of the sample" to "DTT quantitivly reduces disulphide"
Can you help?

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Great question! In fact both answers are correct, it really depends on the concentration of DTT used.

DTT (dithiothreitol: C4H10O2S2) is a reducing agent that affects proteins in the following 2 ways;
1. DTT breaks disulphide bonds (these bonds are important for the three dimensional structure of many proteins)
2. Reduces free sulfhydryl groups (these SH2 side groups are ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses the two major ways DTT affects protein structure.