Scientists grow insulin in tobacco plants

Jul 30, 2007

U.S. researchers have discovered insulin grown in plants can resolve diabetes in mice -- a finding holding promise for humans afflicted with the disease.

University of Central Florida biomedical scientists led by Professor Henry Daniell found insulin might someday be grown in genetically modified plants and then be used to prevent diabetes before symptoms appear or to treat the disease in its later stages

Daniell's research team genetically engineered tobacco plants with the insulin gene and then administered freeze-dried plant cells to five-week-old diabetic mice as a powder for eight weeks. By the end of the study, the scientists found the diabetic mice had normal blood and urine sugar levels, and their cells were producing normal levels of insulin.

Daniell has since proposed using lettuce instead of tobacco since lettuce can be produced cheaply and avoids the stigma associated with tobacco.

The National Institutes of Health provided $2 million to fund the UCF study, which is reported in the July issue of the Plant Biotechnology Journal.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: EU must take urgent action on invasive species

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Biomolecules for the production line

Oct 01, 2013

To produce proteins on an industrial scale without using living cells is the ambitious goal of cell-free bioproduction. This method could help us to produce biological ingredients more quickly and with fewer ...

Medicines from plants

May 26, 2011

Some people think of herbal teas, others of tobacco when they hear the buzzword "medicines from plants". One research team succeeded in producing biopharmaceuticals -- such as an antibody against HIV, for ...

Trafficking in Proteins

Apr 30, 2007

Proteins work hard: they are the main elements of bones, muscles, hair, skin and blood vessels. They fight off disease, regulate tumor growth and produce all the energy in the human body. But before they can do this amazing ...

Recommended for you

Revealing camouflaged bacteria

4 minutes ago

A research team at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel has discovered an protein family that plays a central role in the fight against the bacterial pathogen Salmonella within the cells. The so cal ...

EU must take urgent action on invasive species

2 hours ago

The EU must take urgent action to halt the spread of invasive species that are threatening native plants and animals across Europe, according to a scientist from Queen's University Belfast.

User comments : 0

More news stories

EU must take urgent action on invasive species

The EU must take urgent action to halt the spread of invasive species that are threatening native plants and animals across Europe, according to a scientist from Queen's University Belfast.

HIV+ women respond well to HPV vaccine

HIV-positive women respond well to a vaccine against the human papillomavirus (HPV), even when their immune system is struggling, according to newly published results of an international clinical trial. The study's findings ...