About 25% of people in the general population are insulin resistant, increasing the risk for type 2 diabetes (T2D) and metabolic disease. Transcriptomic analysis of induced pluripotent stem cells differentiated into myoblasts (iMyos) from insulin-resistant (I-Res) versus insulin-sensitive (I-Sen) nondiabetic individuals revealed that 306 genes increased and 271 genes decreased in expression in iMyos from I-Res donors with differences of 2-fold or more. Over 30 of the genes changed in I-Res iMyos were associated with T2D by SNPs and were functionally linked to insulin action and control of metabolism. Interestingly, we also identified more than 1,500 differences in gene expression that were dependent on the sex of the cell donor, some of which modified the insulin resistance effects. Many of these sex differences were associated with increased DNA methylation in cells from female donors and were reversed by 5-azacytidine. By contrast, the insulin sensitivity differences were not reversed and thus appear to reflect genetic or methylation-independent epigenetic effects.
Nida Haider, C. Ronald Kahn