Honors College Theses

Publication Date



Chemistry (B.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Amanda Stewart


The protein complex nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) is widely considered to be one of the most influential transcription factors when studying cellular functions. Peptide mimics of NF-κB aim to inhibit DNA binding in order to displace the natural transcription factor, therefore inhibiting transcription and translation. In theory, NF-κB is not the problem; the real problem lies in directing the synthesis and expression of harmful proteins. In conjunction with this, the project aims to study NF-κB and its structure and function to determine what criteria are important for the binding of DNA in order to design a peptide that comes closer to this goal of producing a mimic of NF-κB. To accomplish this, peptides were designed, synthesized, cleaved, dissolved, and purified in order to run mass spectrometry to determine whether the correct peptides were synthesized. Overall, if peptide mimics are more successful in binding DNA than NF-κB, then the research could potentially be used in clinical settings in order to prevent the overexpression of particular genes implicated in various diseases.