Sullivan reaction

The Sullivan reaction is a chemical test used for detecting the presence of cysteine or cystine in proteins. A red colour appears when a protein with cysteine or cystine is heated with sodium 1,2-naphthoquinone-4-sulfonate and sodium dithionite under alkaline conditions.[1][2][3] This was pioneered by the American Organic and Industrial Chemist, Eugene Cornelius Sullivan (18721962).


  1. Chatterjea (1 January 2004). Textbook of Biochemistry for Dental/Nursing/Pharmacy Students. Jaypee Brothers Publishers. p. 51. ISBN 978-81-8061-204-6.
  2. Debajyoti Das (1980). Biochemistry. Academic Publishers. p. 56. ISBN 978-93-80599-17-5.
  3. Christopher G. Morris (1992). Academic Press Dictionary of Science and Technology. Gulf Professional Publishing. p. 2132. ISBN 978-0-12-200400-1.
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