Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences

Date of Last Revision

2023-05-04 20:08:25



Honors Course

3100 499-002

Number of Credits


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Date of Expected Graduation

Spring 2021


ABSTRACT: Metal sulfides and other minerals were present on early Earth and most likely contributed to the origins of life as we know it. At some stage in prebiotic chemical evolution, random coil polypeptides obtained alpha helices and beta sheet structures to create enzymes. Many early proteins contain transition metal sulfide clusters at their core active sites. Here, I examined the effects of Zns, FeS and CdS, three metal sulfides that existed in early Earth environmental settings, on structure of random coil polyglutamic acid under neutral pH conditions. These minerals did not induce a conformational change in a polyglutamic acid because the negative surface charge on both the minerals and peptide inhibited their interaction. Goethite also does not induce a conformational change of the polypeptide.

Research Sponsor

Dr. Nita Sahai

First Reader

Dr. Henry Astley

Second Reader

Dr. Richard Londraville

Honors Faculty Advisor

Dr. Brian Bagatto


The title has since been changed to Effect of Nanoparticles on Peptide Folding due to the procedures and results of the experiments.

Included in

Biology Commons



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