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Edman degradation, developed by Pehr Edman, is a method of sequencing amino acids in a peptide.  In this method, the amino-terminal residue is labeled and cleaved from the peptide without disrupting the peptide bonds between other amino acid residues.
Phenylisothiocyanate is reacted with an uncharged terminal amino group, under mildly alkaline conditions, to form a cyclical phenylthiocarbamoyl derivative. Then, under acidic conditions, this derivative of the terminal amino acid is cleaved as a thiazolinone derivative. The thiazolinone amino acid is then selectively extracted into an organic solvent and treated with acid to form the more stable phenylthiohydantoin (PTH)- amino acid derivative that can be identified by using chromatography or electrophoresis. This procedure can then be repeated again to identify the next amino acid. A major drawback to this technique is that the peptides being sequenced in this manner cannot have more than 50 to 60 residues (and in practice, under 30).