Purification and functional characterization of pancreatic insulin from camel (Camelus dromedarius)

Babiker A. Elamin, Abdulmajeed Al-Maleki, Mohammad A. Ismael, Mohammed Akli Ayoub

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Large-scale production of insulin still represents the key step in helping diabetic patients throughout the world. Many species and approaches have been used for the production of insulin. In this study, we purified and characterized for the first time pancreatic insulin from the Arabian camel (Camelus dromedarius) using a modified acid-alcohol extraction method. After extraction insulin was purified using a one-step gel filtration on a Sephadex G-50 column leading to a purification yield of 80. mg/kg (20%) of camel pancreas. The purity of camel insulin was assessed by SDS-PAGE and HPLC using insulin from human, bovine and porcine as standards. Molecular weight was determined for purified camel insulin as 5800 Daltons and its amino acid composition is similar to that known for other species. The functional characterization of purified crude camel insulin was demonstrated in vitro by positive competition by radioimmunoassay and in vivo showing camel insulin inducing acute hypoglycaemia in mice. Together, our study reports for the first time the successful purification of functional insulin from camel pancreas with similar properties compared to other insulin species. This is of great interest given that the camel represents considerable economic worth in many countries.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)574-581
Number of pages8
JournalSaudi Journal of Biological Sciences
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2014


  • Acid-alcohol extraction
  • Camelus dromedarius
  • Chromatography
  • Insulin


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