Ethyl methanesulfonate

Helmut Greim

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


EMS is an alkylating agent used in chemical reactions for ethylation of compounds. It has been used as a model alkylating agent in studies of DNA repair processes. It is produced for research purposes, but there is no large-scale production of this chemical. It is not known to occur naturally. EMS may be prepared by the reaction of ethyl alcohol and methanesulfonic anhydride (CH3SO2-O-SO2CH3) or methanesulfonyl chloride (CH3SO2-Cl). Ethyl methanesulfonate (EMS) is mutagenic, teratogenic, and carcinogenic. Interaction of EMS with DNA is extensively studied and has resulted to describe the mechanisms of the reaction and determination of sites that were targeted by EMS. The effects of EMS in viruses and prokaryotes showed that EMS induces mutation in bacteriophage T2 in vitro. EMS induces mutagenicity in bacteria, fungi, plant, insects, and in mammalian including human cells. The reproductive effect of EMS in mammals like mouse and rats was accomplished with changes in sperm morphology and limb defects in the embryos of pregnant rats.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Toxicology, Fourth Edition
Subtitle of host publicationVolume 1-9
ISBN (Electronic)9780128243152
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Alkylans
  • Biological effects
  • Chemicals safety
  • Ethyl methanesulfonate
  • Exposure to chemicals
  • Methanesulfonic acid ethyl ester
  • Toxicity data


Dive into the research topics of 'Ethyl methanesulfonate'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this