Apisin, along with gluconic acid and royalisin, is a glycoprotein contained in royal jelly. The substance has a high molecular weight (350,000) and is a unique component of royal jelly. It was discovered by Professor Masami Yonekura of the College of Agriculture at Ibaraki University.
The common name of “apisin” derives from the scientific name for honeybees, Apis mellifera, and the protein is more commonly known under the name of “major royal jelly protein 1” (MRJP1) internationally.
Since the study of apisin started around 1990, its functions to promote cell generation and to maintain cell activity have been identified. Because of these functions, apisin is also referred to as the “protein for longevity.”
Identification of apisin is very difficult, however, and its quantitative measurement has not been possible. As a result, the content level of this very important protein has not been measured until recently.
The cooperative study made the measurement possible and demonstrated that apisin (MRJP1) is indeed the primary source of the astonishing growth of queen bee larvae in the queen cells.