Aerobic oxidation of thiols to disulfides by heterogeneous gold catalysts

Autores UPV
Revista Chemical Science


Thiols are smoothly and efficiently oxidized to disulfides (RSSR) with air in the presence of gold nanoparticles supported on CeO2 in absence of solvent, as well as in aqueous solutions and neutral pH. It is shown that the reaction can occur through the coupling of two sulphur radicals on the metal surface. The sulphur radicals are formed from thiols by one-electron oxidation with the metal. This reaction mechanism strongly resembles that found for sulfhydryl oxidases, a class of enzymes which are involved in the oxidative protein folding through de novo formation of disulfides from thiols.