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Insulin receptor substrate 2 (IRS-2) modulates the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt pathway, which controls the suppression of gluconeogenic genes; IRS-2 is also a critical node of insulin signaling. Because of the high homology between pig and human IRS-2, we investigated the expression pattern and function of porcine IRS-2. QPCR and immunoblotting were used to detect the IRS-2 expression level in different tissues. There were high IRS-2 levels in the cerebral cortex, hypothalamus, and cerebellum in the central nervous system. In peripheral tissues, IRS-2 was expressed at relatively high levels in the liver. Immunohistochemistry analysis revealed that IRS-2 was mainly distributed in the hypothalamus and cerebral cortex. Furthermore, IRS-2 knockdown porcine hepatocytes and porcine aortic endothelial cells (PAECs) were generated. The IRS-2 knockdown induced abnormal expression of genes involved in glycolipid metabolism in hepatocytes and reduced the antiatherosclerosis ability in PAECs. In addition, we disrupted IRS-2 in porcine embryonic fibroblasts (PEFs) using the CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing system, before finally generating IRS-2 knockout embryos by somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). Taken together, our results indicate that IRS-2 might be a valuable target to establish diabetes and vascular disease models in the pig.
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