Disruption of the insulin receptor substrate-2 was shown to cause type 2 diabetes in mice. This could be largely attributed to abnormal beta-cell development. In humans, a prevalent polymorphism in insulin receptor substrate-2 (Gly1057Asp) was not found be associated with type 2 diabetes in linkage and association studies. We tested the hypothesis that an extreme challenge of the beta cell might reveal subtle abnormalities in carriers of this polymorphism undetected by conventional insulin secretion tests. Therefore, in addition to assessing beta-cell function by oral glucose tolerance testing (n = 318, normal glucose tolerance), we measured the secretory response to maximal stimulation by hyperglycemia (10 mM), glucagon-like peptide-1, and arginine administered in an additive fashion (n = 77, nondiabetic). The allelic frequency of the Asp allele was approximately 37%. Neither the beta-cell function indices from the oral glucose tolerance test nor the secretory response during the hyperglycemic clamp differed measurably between carriers and controls. Moreover, maximal plasma C-peptide concentrations in response to the combined glucose, glucagon-like peptide-1, and arginine stimulus was not different between Gly/Gly (10,745 +/- 1,186 pmol/liter) and X/Asp (10,800 +/- 490 pmol/liter, P = 0.99). In conclusion, our findings strongly suggest that the Gly1057Asp polymorphism in insulin receptor substrate-2 is not associated with beta-cell dysfunction. The normal maximal insulin secretory response makes it unlikely that this common polymorphism results in abnormal beta-cell development.