The Effects of Spices and Herbs on the Aggregation of Islet Amyloid Polypeptide
Authors:Ana Lucia Fuentes, Kathleen Hennessy, Jacob Pascual
Mentor:David Moffet, Professor of Biochemistry, Loyola Marymount University
Islet Amyloid Polypeptide (IAPP) is a 37-amino acid peptide secreted by the pancreas in conjunction with insulin. Though normally not aggregated, IAPP in its aggregated form appears to play a direct role in the onset of type 2 diabetes. By preventing this aggregation it may be possible to restrict the occurrence of this disease. Many spices and herbs have been known to have a positive influence on the overall health of the body. We hypothesize that some spices and herbs, including: Cayenne Pepper, Mint, Cumin, Curry Powder, Cilantro, Parsley, Sage, Thyme, Chives, Dill, Rosemary, Garlic, Huatacay, and Black Peppermint, could also be effective inhibitors of the aggregation of IAPP. Using Thioflavin T (THT) assays, we were able to measure the amount of IAPP aggregation in solutions containing the spices and herbs in question by measuring the fluorescence of IAPP bound with THT. We then collected data that displayed the efficiency of spices and herbs at inhibiting aggregation. By utilizing spices and herbs to inhibit IAPP aggregation, it may be possible to delay and eventually terminate the effects of type 2 diabetes. Of the aforementioned spices and herbs, we have promising data that show several of them have high efficacy in inhibiting IAPP aggregation.