Document Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2013

Capstone Advisor

Dr. James Hougland

Honors Reader

Dr. James Dabrowiak

Capstone Major


Capstone College

Arts and Science

Audio/Visual Component


Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories

Sciences and Engineering

Subject Categories



Ghrelin is a peptide hormone involved in hunger signaling and other physiological processes. To become active, ghrelin first must be acylated by ghrelin O-acyltransferase (GOAT). This enzyme carries out a post-translational modification that attaches an octanoyl group to the side chain of the serine 3 (S3) residue of ghrelin. With ghrelin linked to hunger signaling, memory, and other physiological processes, GOAT has been identified as a potential drug target. However, inhibitor design is difficult because not much is known regarding the active site structure and catalytic mechanism of GOAT. This study reports the design of a novel fluorescence-based assay that allows the use of ghrelin substrate mimics and derivatives to interrogate ghrelin recognition by GOAT. The results of this research can directly contribute to helping in the development of novel GOAT inhibitors.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Included in

Biochemistry Commons



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