Skeletal muscle preeminently determines whole-body glycemia. However, the molecular basis and inheritable influence that drive the progression of insulin resistance to type 2 diabetes remain debated. In this issue of the JCI, Haider and Lebastchi report on their use of induced pluripotent stem cell–derived (iPSC–derived) myoblasts (iMyos) to uncover multiple phosphoproteomic changes that carried over from the human to the cell-culture system. In this system devoid of in vivo influences, the researchers annotated changes between the sexes and between the most and least insulin-sensitive quintiles of a healthy population (defined by steady-state blood glucose levels). Many phosphoproteomic differences were detected in the absence of insulin, revealing that changes in the basal landscape of cells determine the efficiency of insulin action. Basal and insulin-dependent deficiencies of iPSCs and iMyos likely involve genetic and epigenetic determinants that modulate insulin sensitivity.
Victoria L. Tokarz, Paul Delgado-Olguín, Amira Klip