Root and shoot parts of strawberry: Factories for production of functional human pro-insulin Academic Article uri icon


  • Diabetes, a disease caused by excessive blood sugar, is caused by the lack of insulin. For commercial production, insulin is made in bacteria or yeast by protein recombinant technology. The focus of this research is evaluating another resource and producing of recombinant insulin protein in as strawberry as this plant has high potential in production of pharmaceutical proteins. Strawberry is a suitable bioreactor for production of recombinant proteins especially edible vaccines. In this research, human pro-insulin gene was cloned in pCAMBIA1304 vector under CaMV35S promoter and NOS terminator. Agrobacterium tumefaciens LBA4404, AGL1, EHA105, EHA101, C58, C58 (pGV2260) and C58 (pGV3101) strains were used for transformation of pro-insulin gene into strawberry cv. Camarosa, Selva, Sarian Hybrid, Pajaro, Paros, Gaviota, Alpine. Additionally, Agrobacterium rhizogenes K599, R1000, A4 and MSU440 strains were utilized for gene transformation into hairy roots. PCR analysis indicated the presence of transformed human pro-insulin gene in the strawberry and hairy roots. Also, its transcription was confirmed using RT-PCR. Furthermore, the analysis of plants, fruits and hairy roots at the level of proteins using dot blot, ELISA, SDS-PAGE and ECL tests re-confirmed the expression of this protein in the transgenic plants as well as hairy roots. Protein purification of human pro-insulin from transgenic tissues was performed using affinity chromatography. Finally, the bioassay of recombinant pro-insulin was performed. The analysis of second generations of transgenic plants (T1) at DNA and protein levels was also performed as a complementary experiment. This study opens a new avenue in molecular farming of human pro-insulin through its mass production in roots and shoots of strawberry.

publication date

  • 2015