1,4-Dithioerythritol, typically abbreviated as DTE, is a sulfur-containing sugar that is derived from erythrose. DTE is one of two Cleland's reagents, while the other one, DTT, is an epimer of DTE. DTE can act as a protective agent for thiol groups. DTE acts as a reducing agent for disulfide bonds and is used to maintain -SH groups in the reduced state.
Both DTE and DTT are used widely in biochemical research applications. Specifically, DTE often used to reduce disulfide bonds to sulfhydryl groups, which it is then capable of protecting from oxidation. In this capacity, DTE has been used in studies researching topics from apoptosis to the use of mass spectroscopy to study nucleic acids. DTE's ability to prevent oxidation of sulfhydryl groups also makes it useful for SDS polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis.
Research or further manufacturing use only, not for food or drug use.