Besides the addition of SDS, proteins may optionally be briefly heated to near boiling in the presence of a reducing agent, such as dithiothreitol (DTT) or 2-mercaptoethanol (beta-mercaptoethanol/BME), which further denatures the proteins by reducing disulfide linkages, thus overcoming some forms of tertiary protein folding, and breaking up quaternary protein structure (oligomeric subunits). This is known as reducing SDS-PAGE, and is most commonly used.
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“Single acts of tyranny may be ascribed to the accidental opinion of a day; but a series of oppressions ... too plainly prove a deliberate, systematical plan of reducing us to slavery.”
—Thomas Jefferson (17431826)