Degradation of IRS1 leads to impaired glucose uptake in adipose tissue of the type 2 diabetes mouse model TALLYHO/Jng.

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Adipocytes, Adipose-Tissue, Animals, Diabetes-Mellitus-Type-2, Disease-Models-Animal, Glucose, Glucose-Transporter-Type-4, Insulin-Receptor-Substrate-Proteins, Insulin-Resistance, Male, Mice-Inbred-Strains, Proteasome-Endopeptidase-Complex, Signal-Transduction

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see Reprint Collection (a pdf is available)

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J Endocrinol 2009 Oct; 203(1):65-74.


The TALLYHO/Jng (TH) mouse strain is a polygenic model for type 2 diabetes (T2D) characterized by moderate obesity, impaired glucose tolerance and uptake, insulin resistance, and hyperinsulinemia. The goal of this study was to elucidate the molecular mechanisms responsible for the reduced glucose uptake and insulin resistance in the adipose tissue of this model. The translocation and localization of glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4) to the adipocyte plasma membrane were impaired in TH mice compared to control C57BL6/J (B6) mice. These defects were associated with decreased GLUT4 protein, reduced phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase activity, and alterations in the phosphorylation status of insulin receptor substrate 1 (IRS1). Activation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase 1/2, which can phosphorylate IRS1 on Ser307, was significantly higher in TH mice compared with B6 controls. IRS1 protein but not mRNA levels was found to be lower in TH mice than controls. Immunoprecipitation with anti-ubiquitin and western blot analysis of IRS1 protein revealed increased total IRS1 ubiquitination in adipose tissue of TH mice. Suppressor of cytokine signaling 1, known to promote IRS1 ubiquitination and subsequent degradation, was found at significantly higher levels in TH mice compared with B6. Immunohistochemistry showed that IRS1 colocalized with the 20S proteasome in proteasomal structures in TH adipocytes, supporting the notion that IRS1 is actively degraded. Our findings suggest that increased IRS1 degradation and subsequent impaired GLUT4 mobilization play a role in the reduced glucose uptake in insulin resistant TH mice. Since low-IRS1 levels are often observed in human T2D, the TH mouse is an attractive model to investigate mechanisms of insulin resistance and explore new treatments.

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