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Flashcards in Genetic Engineering (T5) Deck (4):
1

Describe the stages involved in the production of the hormone insulin, by process of genetic engineering...

- select human cells that contain genes for insulin
- remove from the cell the relative section of the chromosome that contains the genes for insulin
- the gene which codes for insulin is cut from the chromosome using specialised enzymes called 'restriction endonuclease enzymes'
- a bacterial cell is selected, containing DNA in the form of circular plasmids
- the plasmids are extracted from the bacterial cell and used as vectors to introduce the gene for insulin into the bacterial cell
- plasmids are then cut open using the same 'restriction endonuclease enzymes'
- the human insulin gene is then inserted into the cut region of the plasmids using another specialised enzyme called a ligase enzyme
- this DNA is now described as a recombinant DNA
- plasmid containing the recombined DNA is reinserted back into the bacterial cell
- the bacterial cell is allowed to reproduce in a fermenter
- all the bacterial cells produced contain the plasmids with the human insulin gene

2

What is the genetic engineering of human insulin useful for?

For people with diabetes as it provides insulin, allowing them to control blood sugar levels

3

What are 'restriction endonuclease enzymes' and what is their nickname?

They are specialised enzymes which can 'cut' genes from chromosomes and cut plasmids.

Also known as 'genetic scissors'.

4

What is a ligase enzyme?

A specialised enzyme that can insert genes into cut plasmids.

Nicknamed the 'genetic glue'.

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