Chemistry (B.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Amanda Stewart


Nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) is a common transcription factor that is highly regulated and has been implicated in several physiological processes. These include its role in development, inflammation, immune reaction, cell death, and other biological processes.1 NF-κB regulates the expression of various proteins by binding specific κB DNA sites. Studies have shown that overexpression of the brain derived neurotrophic factor (bdnf) gene can result in epilepsy.2 The aim of this project will be the synthesis of peptide inhibitors that mimic NF-κB and bind the κB DNA selectively. Development of an inhibitor may lead to modification in gene expression to prevent overexpression of the BDNF protein. Peptides will be produced by solid phase peptide synthesis and then purified via HPLC. Fluorescence binding studies will be conducted to determine the peptide binding affinities for the DNA, and structural studies will be completed using circular dichroism. Progress towards these results will be reported.