The Dansyl-Edman Method for Peptide Sequencing

  • John M. Walker
Part of the Springer Protocols Handbooks book series (SPH)


In 1950, Edman published a chemical method for the stepwise removal of amino acids from the N-terminus of a peptide (1). This series of reactions has come to be known as the Edman degradation, and although modifications of this technique have been introduced from time to time, the Edman degradation method remains, over thirty years after its introduction, the only effective chemical means of removing amino acids in a stepwise fashion from a polypeptide chain. The overall reaction sequence is shown in Fig. 1. The reactions may be conveniently divided into two stages:


Lysine Residue Edman Degradation Dansyl Chloride Lysine Side Chain Fume Cupboard 
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  1. 1.
    Edman, P. (1956) On the mechanism of the phenyl-isothiocyanate degradation of peptides. Ada Chemica Scand. 10, 761.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Hartley, B.S. (1970) Strategy and tactics in protein chemistry. Biochem. J. 119, 805.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Offord, R.E. (1966) Electrophoretic mobilities of peptides on paper and their use in the determination of amide groups. Nature 111, 591–593.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Further Reading

  1. Protein Sequence Determination. (Needleman, S.B., ed.) (1970) Springer-Verlag, New York.Google Scholar
  2. Advanced Methods in Protein Sequence Determination. (Needleman, S.B., ed) (1977) Springer-Verlag, New York.Google Scholar
  3. Introduction to Protein Sequence Analysis. L.R. Croft (1980) John Wiley & Sons. Chichester, England.Google Scholar
  4. Methods in Peptide and Protein Sequence Analysis. (Birr, C., Ed.) (1980) Elsevier, North Holland, Amsterdam.Google Scholar
  5. Techniques in Molecular Biology. (Walker, J.M. and Gaastra, W., eds.) (1983) Croom Helm, Beckenham, Kent, England.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Humana Press Inc. 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • John M. Walker
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Biological and Environmental StudiesThe Hatfield PolytechnicUK

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