Sulfur bridge

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Sulfur bridges marked in blue
Lawesson's reagent BLUE Structural Formulase.svg
Lawesson's reagent
(R, R) -Cystine BLUE Structural Formulae.svg
Natural ( R , R ) - cystine
CS (7) -Ring BLUE Structural Formula.svg
Substituted heptathiocane

A sulfur bridge is a group of atoms in which either one, two or more sulfur atoms are contained in an alkyl chain, a ring-shaped organic chemical compound or as a bridge between any two other atoms.

Schematic presentation of two polyisoprene chains ( blue and green ) after vulcanization with sulfur (n = 0, 1, 2, 3…). In the example, the polyisoprene chains are linked by two sulfur bridges.
Schematic presentation of disulfide bridges in a protein strand ( marked orange ) and between two protein strands.

Organic compounds with sulfur bridges

Stable compounds with sulfur bridges are quite common in nature; so have thioethers and the amino acid cystine (a disulfide this structural element). Cyclic compounds with sulfur bridges are also known and are therefore sulfur-containing heterocycles .


The technically important crosslinking of natural rubber or synthetic rubber is known as vulcanization . Under the action of elemental sulfur or other suitable sulfur compounds, sulfur bridges consisting of several sulfur atoms are made between the polymer strands. The polymer is thus crosslinked.


Sulfur bridges play a very important role in biochemistry. Chains of proteins and peptides are linked by the formation of disulfide bridges , which creates a tertiary structure . One example is insulin . The amatoxins contain cyclic peptides which are bridged by a sulfur atom.

See also

Individual evidence

  1. Heribert Offermanns , Jürgen Martens , Martin Watzke, Peter Albers, Bernd Hannebauer, Matthias Janik, Arndt Müller, Kenneth Shankland, Charlotte K. Leech and Stewart F. Parker: Solid State and Solution Structure of an Unusual Compound Containing a CS7 ​​Ring , The Open Organic Chemistry Journal 2 (2008) pp. 110-113.
  2. ^ Albert Gossauer: Structure and reactivity of biomolecules , Verlag Helvetica Chimica Acta, Zurich, 2006, p. 440, ISBN 978-3-906390-29-1 .