Fish Physiology and Biochemistry

, Volume 43, Issue 2, pp 619–630 | Cite as

IRS1 and IRS2: molecular characterization, tissue expression and transcriptional regulation by insulin in yellow catfish Pelteobagrus fulvidraco

  • Mei-Qin Zhuo
  • Ya-Xiong Pan
  • Kun Wu
  • Yi-Huan Xu
  • Li-Han Zhang
  • Zhi Luo


The insulin receptor substrate (IRS) proteins, in particular, IRS1 and IRS2, are the key downstream players of insulin signaling pathway and the regulation of lipid metabolism. In the present study, two genes of IRS (IRS1 and IRS2) were isolated and characterized from yellow catfish Pelteobagrus fulvidraco. Their molecular characterizations, tissue expressions, and transcriptional levels by insulin both in vivo and in vitro were determined. The validated complementary DNAs encoding for IRS1 and IRS2 were 3693 and 3177 bp in length, encoding proteins of 1230 and 1058 amino acid residues, respectively. Similarly to mammals, amino acid sequence alignment revealed that IRSs contained an N-terminal pleckstrin homology (PH) domain, a phosphotyrosine-binding (PTB) domain, and several C-terminal multiple sites of tyrosine phosphorylation. Both IRS1 and IRS2 were widely expressed across the ten tissues (liver, white muscle, spleen, brain, gill, mesenteric fat, anterior intestine, heart, mid-kidney, and ovary), but at the variable levels. Insulin injection at 1 μg/g in vivo significantly stimulated the messenger RNA (mRNA) expression of IRS2, but not IRS1 mRNA expression levels in the liver of yellow catfish after 48 h. In hepatocytes of yellow catfish, insulin incubation significantly stimulated the IRS1 (at a 1000 nM insulin group) and IRS2 (at both 100 and 1000 nM insulin groups) mRNA expressions, which indicated that IRS2 was more sensitive than IRS1 to insulin stimulation in the liver of yellow catfish, and IRS2 played a more important role in mediating insulin’s effects on the liver metabolism. The present study serves to increase our understanding into the function of IRS in fish.


Pelteobagrus fulvidraco Insulin receptor substrate Molecular characterization Tissue expression Insulin Transcriptional regulation 



Glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase


Hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyl transferase


Insulin receptor substrate


Tricaine methanesulfonate


Molecular weight


Open-reading frame


Phosphoinositide 3-kiases


Pleckstrin homology




Ribosomal protein L7


Src homology 2


Tubulin alpha chain


Ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme


Untranslated region



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 31422056) and Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities, China (Grants Nos. 2014JQ002, 2662015PY017).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Freshwater Animal Breeding Ministry of Agriculture of P. R. C., Fishery CollegeHuazhong Agricultural UniversityWuhanChina
  2. 2.Freshwater Aquaculture Collaborative Innovative Centre of Hubei ProvinceWuhanChina

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