Tris(2-carboxyethyl)phosphine hydrochloride solution

0.5 M, pH 7.0(aqueous solution; pH was adjusted with ammonium hydroxide)

Empirical Formula (Hill Notation):
C9H15O6P · HCl
CAS Number:
Molecular Weight:
MDL number:
PubChem Substance ID:

Quality Level


0.5 M

refractive index

n20/D 1.367


7.0(aqueous solution; pH was adjusted with ammonium hydroxide)


1.041 g/mL at 25 °C

SMILES string




InChI key


General description

Tris (2-carboxyethyl) phosphine (TCEP) is very effective in cleaving disulfide bonds in aqueous solution. It dissolves in water and is odorless, unlike other trialkylphosphines (tributylphosphine). It is also less toxic than 2-mercaptoethanol. These advantages make it better than the other reducing agents.
It belongs to the trialkylphosphine class.


Tris (2-carboxyethyl) phosphine (TCEP) can be used in several downstream applications including SDS-PAGE, mass spectrometry, labeling with cysteine specific tags, and modification of cysteine containing compounds. It prevents oxidation of protein samples, which makes it a useful buffer component as it helps to preserve enzymatic activity. It has been used in the reduction and measurement of glutathione.
Tris (2-carboxyethyl) phosphine (TCEP) has also been used:
  • to cleave cysteine residues in a synthetic peptide
  • in reduction buffer for RNA Sequential Probing of Targets (SPOTs) imaging
  • for the reduction of oligonucleotides
  • as reducing agent during mitochondrial isolation


10×1 mL in ampule

Biochem/physiol Actions

Tris(2-carboxyethyl)phosphine hydrochloride solution reduces the disulfide bonds and leaves other functional groups intact in proteins.
As a non-mercaptan reducing agent, it avoids the toxicity inherent in thiol-containing compounds. It is capable of disrupting the botulinum neurotoxin B heavy-chain/light-chain complex that is held together by a single disulfide bond, and that is responsible for endocytosis, and ultimately the toxicity, of the toxin. Since disulfide-coupled subunits are characteristic of many toxins (e.g., ricin, snake venom, and all BoNT serotypes), it may be useful as a rescue prophylactic in cases of toxin administration.


Exclamation mark

Signal Word


Hazard Statements

Precautionary Statements


Eye Irrit. 2 - Skin Irrit. 2 - STOT SE 3

Target Organs

Respiratory system


10 - Combustible liquids

WGK Germany


Flash Point(F)

Not applicable

Flash Point(C)

Not applicable

Personal Protective Equipment

dust mask type N95 (US),Eyeshields,Gloves

Certificate of Analysis

Certificate of Origin

Xuerong Shi et al.
Journal of cellular biochemistry, 107(5), 1021-1030 (2009-06-06)
The light chain (LC) of botulinum neurotoxin B (BoNT/B) is unable to enter target neuronal cells by itself. It is brought into the cell in association with the BoNT/B heavy chain (HC) through endocytosis. The BoNT HC-LC subunits are held...
Quantitative analysis of tris (2-carboxyethyl) phosphine by anion-exchange chromatography and evaporative light-scattering detection
Tan Z, et al.
Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis, 59, 167-172 (2012)
Highly multiplexed quantitative mass spectrometry analysis of ubiquitylomes
Rose CM, et al.
Cell Systems, 3(4), 395-403 (2016)
E B Getz et al.
Analytical biochemistry, 273(1), 73-80 (1999-08-24)
The newly introduced sulfhydryl reductant tris(2-carboxyethyl)phosphine (TCEP) is a potentially attractive alternative to commonly used dithiothreitol (DTT). We compare properties of DTT and TCEP important in protein biochemistry, using the motor enzyme myosin as an example protein. The reductants equally...
Differential labeling of free and disulfide-bound thiol functions in proteins
Seiwert B, et al.
Journal of the American Society For Mass Spectrometry, 19(1), 1-7 (2008)
In this study, we developed a rapid trypsin digest kit that, at elevated temperatures, yielded reliable, reproducible results in less than 2 hours on a wide variety of substrates for mass spectrometry.
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