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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 826706, 17 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/826706
Review Article

Amylin Uncovered: A Review on the Polypeptide Responsible for Type II Diabetes

Department of Biochemistry, School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu Natal, Westville Campus, Block F3, University Road, Private Bag X54001, Durban 4000, South Africa

Received 11 December 2012; Accepted 21 February 2013

Academic Editor: Thomas Van Groen

Copyright © 2013 Karen Pillay and Patrick Govender. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Amylin is primarily responsible for classifying type II diabetes as an amyloid (protein misfolding) disease as it has great potential to aggregate into toxic nanoparticles, thereby resulting in loss of pancreatic -cells. Although type II diabetes is on the increase each year, possibly due to bad eating habits of modern society, research on the culprit for this disease is still in its early days. In addition, unlike the culprit for Alzheimer’s disease, amyloid -peptide, amylin has failed to receive attention worthy of being featured in an abundance of review articles. Thus, the aim of this paper is to shine the spotlight on amylin in an attempt to put it onto the top of researchers’ to-do list since the secondary complications of type II diabetes have far-reaching and severe consequences on public health both in developing and fully developed countries alike. This paper will cover characteristics of the amylin aggregates, mechanisms of toxicity, and a particular focus on inhibitors of toxicity and techniques used to assess these inhibitors.