Oxidative folding of lysozyme with aromatic dithiols, and aliphatic and aromatic monothiols

Bioorg Med Chem. 2012 Jan 15;20(2):1020-8. doi: 10.1016/j.bmc.2011.11.049. Epub 2011 Dec 1.


In vitro protein folding of disulfide containing proteins is aided by the addition of a redox buffer, which is composed of a small molecule disulfide and/or a small molecule thiol. In this study, we examined redox buffers containing asymmetric dithiols 1-5, which possess an aromatic and aliphatic thiol, and symmetric dithiols 6 and 7, which possess two aromatic thiols, for their ability to fold reduced lysozyme at pH 7.0 and 8.0. Most in vivo protein folding catalysts are dithiols. When compared to glutathione and glutathione disulfide, the standard redox buffer, dithiols 1-5 improved the protein folding rates but not the yields. However, dithiols 6 and 7, and the corresponding monothiol 8 increased the folding rates 8-17 times and improved the yields 15-42% at 1mg/mL lysozyme. Moreover, aromatic dithiol 6 increased the in vitro folding yield as compared to the corresponding aromatic monothiol 8. Therefore, aromatic dithiols should be useful for protein folding, especially at high protein concentrations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Disulfides / chemistry
  • Glutathione Disulfide / chemistry
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Muramidase / chemistry*
  • Muramidase / metabolism
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Protein Folding
  • Quaternary Ammonium Compounds / chemistry
  • Sulfhydryl Compounds / chemistry*


  • Disulfides
  • Quaternary Ammonium Compounds
  • Sulfhydryl Compounds
  • Muramidase
  • Glutathione Disulfide