Atomic Force Microscopy as a Means of Visualizing the Effects of Spices on the Aggregation of IAPP
Authors:Montserrat Cota, Christina Cunha
Mentor:David Moffet, Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Loyola Marymount University
Islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP) is 37-amino acids in length and is secreted from the pancreas in conjunction with insulin. Similar to other amyloid proteins, IAPP has the ability to misfold and aggregate forming large plaques in the pancreas. The presence of these plaques is closely associated with Type II diabetes. IAPP aggregates have been found in the pancreas of over 90% of individuals afflicted with Type II diabetes. We are investigating the potential of various spice extracts to inhibit the aggregation of IAPP. Spices were first tested for inhibiting characteristics using a Thioflavin T assay. Results were visually confirmed using Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM). The effects of the spices on inhibiting IAPP aggregation were compared to a control sample that contained significant aggregation of IAPP fibrils. Of the spices tested sage, cayenne, cumin, parsley, peppermint, and sage with pomegranate demonstrated the most significant inhibition of IAPP aggregation.