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Thiolysis is a reaction with a thiol (R-SH) that cleaves one compound into two. This reaction is similar to hydrolysis, which involves water instead of a thiol. This reaction is seen in β-oxidation of fatty acids. The depolymerisation of condensed tannins with the use of benzyl mercaptan as nucleophile is also called thiolysis.

Example of thiolysis (thiol: CoA-SH)