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A compound widely used as a biological buffer substance in the pH range 79; pKa = 8.3 at 20°C; pKa = 7.82 at 37°C. It is widely used as a biological buffer or as a component of buffer formulations such as TAE and TBE buffers. Tris has a pKa of 8.06 and is very useful in the biology and biochemistry lab because it has buffering capabilities in the range of the typical physiological pH of most living organisms (pH 7.0-9.0). Tris has been reported to interfere with the activity of a number of enzymes, it should therefore be used carefully when studying proteins. In medicine, Tris is used as alternative to sodium bicarbonate in the treatment of metabolic acidosis. Used in chemical manufacturing (surface-active agents, vulcanization accelerators, and pharmaceuticals), as an emulsifying agent (cosmetics, mineral oil and paraffin wax emulsions, leather dressings, textile specialties, polishes, cleaning compounds, and soluble oils), and as an absorbent for acidic gases, biological buffer, acidimetric standard, and therapeutic alkalinizing agent. Also used in buffer systems for the freezer storage of sperm, to regulate pH in the transport of live aquatic species, cell culture media, and anti-inflammatory drugs.
Kallet RH, et al. The treatment of acidosis in acute lung injury with tris-hydroxymethyl aminomethane (THAM).Am J Respir Crit Care Med.,2000,161(1), 1149-53.
Desmarais WT, et al. The 1.20 A resolution crystal structure of the aminopeptidase from Aeromonas proteolytica complexed with tris: a tale of buffer inhibition.Structure.,2002,10(8), 1063-72.