Recombinant DNA technology used for insulin production

Authors Avatar by zeynep_merve10hotmailcouk (student)

It was not until 1921 that diabetes was assumed to have been caused by a malfunction in the digestive system which was known to be related to the pancreas gland, however it was discovered that the disease was caused by the deficiency of insulin. At first, scientists put effort in synthetically recreating the insulin protein by putting together the sequence of amino acids in a chemically; however, they struggled to produce it in high amounts. Therefore, the insulin hormone was obtained by purifying it from animals, primarily cattle and pigs. Nevertheless, it caused side effects on people –such as skin rashes- because the insulin purified from animals didn’t exactly match with the human insulin there are one or three amino acids that differ human insulin from animal insulin. In 1978, with the help of biotechnology, the human insulin gene was inserted into bacterial DNA and used to produce the insulin in large amounts. The process which is to be followed is named as “Recombinant DNA Technology”.

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In order to access the gene that is responsible for the production of insulin in humans, the DNA it is found on, must be extracted from the human cell. This is primarily done by breaking the cell membrane and then the nuclear membrane of the human cell, allowing having direct access to the chromosomes which will actually lead onto identifying the exact location (Gene Mapping) of the human insulin gene on the chromosome.

The next step is to isolate the gene, and this is done by using restriction enzymes, as they recognise and cut the DNA sequence which codes specifically ...

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