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Paper Chase

Irs-2 coordinates Igf-1 receptor-mediated beta-cell development and peripheral insulin signalling.

Nat. Genet.. 9 2, 1999;23(1):32-40.
Withers DJ, Burks DJ, Towery HH, Altamuro SL, Flint CL, White MF.

Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Joslin Diabetes Center, Harvard Medical School, One Joslin Place, Boston, Massachusetts 02215, USA.


Insulin receptor substrates (Irs proteins) mediate the pleiotropic effects of insulin and Igf-1 (insulin-like growth factor-1), including regulation of glucose homeostasis and cell growth and survival. We intercrossed mice heterozygous for two null alleles (Irs1+/- and Irs2+/-) and investigated growth and glucose metabolism in mice with viable genotypes. Our experiments revealed that Irs-1 and Irs-2 are critical for embryonic and post-natal growth, with Irs-1 having the predominant role. By contrast, both Irs-1 and Irs-2 function in peripheral carbohydrate metabolism, but Irs-2 has the major role in beta-cell development and compensation for peripheral insulin resistance. To establish a role for the Igf-1 receptor in beta-cells, we intercrossed mice heterozygous for null alleles of Igf1r and Irs2. Our results reveal that Igf-1 receptors promote beta-cell development and survival through the Irs-2 signalling pathway. Thus, Irs-2 integrates the effects of insulin in peripheral target tissues with Igf-1 in pancreatic beta-cells to maintain glucose homeostasis.