Cystamine molecule


Cystamine (2,2′-ditiobisethanamine) is an organic disulfide. It can bind to nucleoproteins. Binding of cystamine to nucleoproteins causes them to precipitate. Disulfides, which bind to DNA and precipitate nucleoproteins, interact analogously to cadaverine and spermidine with DNA.

With this modification, it is possible to cross-link nucleic acids with the corresponding proteins by means of a dithiol linker (so-called “cross-linking”). Chemical cross-linking of complexes of proteins with nucleic acids is often used in structural and mechanical studies of these often unstable and transient complexes.

Scheme showing the structure of the nucleic acid-cystamine complex and the subsequent complex of oligonucleotide and protein
Cystamine modification sites in DNA or RNA oligonucleotides.

The attachment of cystamine in the nucleic acid chain can take place at the 5′-end or directly to the phosphor center.

The use of cystamine in nucleic acid often requires a 2′-deoxy- or 2′-fluoro-ribonucleotide modification1.


  1. Hyjek-Składanowska, M., Stasińska, A.R., Napiórkowska, A., Bartłomiejczak, A., Seth, P.P., Chmielewski, M.K., Nowotny, M. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry, 2020 115741

If you are interested in cystamine modification, contact our team.