Edman degradation

What is Edman degradation?

The Edman degradation technique is a cyclic process used to degrade peptides by reacting them with phenylisothiocyanate at the free amino group of the N-terminal residue. Through this process, amino acids are removed one at a time and identified as their corresponding phenylthiohydantoin derivatives.

This method is particularly useful in the analysis of peptides, allowing researchers to identify the sequence of amino acids that make up a peptide chain. By degrading the peptide in a stepwise manner, each amino acid can be identified and sequenced.

Edman degradation
Edman degradation


Edman, Pehr “Method for Determination of the Amino Acid Sequence in Peptides” Acta Chemica Scandinavica 4, 283-293 (1950)
DOI: 10.3891/acta.chem.scand.04-0283