Genetically engineered bacteria-produced insulin, also known as recombinant DNA insulin, is a type of insulin that is produced through the use of genetically modified bacteria. This process revolutionized the production of insulin and has become the primary method for manufacturing insulin used in diabetes treatment.

Isolation of the Insulin Gene

The production of genetically engineered bacteria-produced insulin begins with the isolation of the human insulin gene. The human insulin gene is isolated from human pancreatic cells or synthesized using recombinant DNA technology. This gene contains the genetic code for producing insulin.

Insertion into Bacterial Plasmid

Once the human insulin gene is isolated, it is inserted into a bacterial plasmid. A plasmid is a small, circular DNA molecule that is separate from the bacterial chromosome. The insulin gene is inserted into the plasmid using restriction enzymes and ligases, which cut and paste the DNA at specific sequences.

Transformation of Bacteria

The next step involves the transformation of bacteria with the recombinant plasmid containing the human insulin gene. This is typically achieved through a process called heat shock, where the bacteria are briefly exposed to high temperatures, allowing them to take up the foreign DNA from their environment.

Expression of Insulin Gene

Once the bacteria have been successfully transformed with the recombinant plasmid, they begin to express the human insulin gene. The gene is transcribed into messenger RNA (mRNA) and then translated into insulin protein within the bacterial cells.

Harvesting and Purification

After the bacteria have produced the insulin protein, they are harvested, and the insulin is extracted and purified. The purification process involves separating the insulin from other cellular components and impurities to obtain a highly pure form of insulin.

Quality Control and Formulation

Following purification, the genetically engineered insulin undergoes rigorous quality control testing to ensure its safety, purity, and potency. Once it meets these standards, it is formulated into various types of insulin products, such as rapid-acting, short-acting, intermediate-acting, and long-acting insulins.


In conclusion, genetically engineered bacteria-produced insulin has significantly improved the availability and quality of insulin for diabetes treatment. This process involves isolating the human insulin gene, inserting it into bacterial plasmids, transforming bacteria, expressing the insulin gene within bacterial cells, harvesting and purifying the insulin, conducting quality control tests, and formulating it into various types of insulin products.

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