Insulin receptor substrate 2 (IRS-2) is a substrate of the insulin receptor and mediates the action of the insulin. Disruption of the IRS-2 gene in mice results in peripheral insulin resistance and relative insulin deficiency. It is therefore possible that defects in the IRS-2 gene contribute to Type II (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes mellitus. We have examined the gene for evidence of linkage to Type II diabetes in Ashkenazi Jewish families. Radiation hybrid panel mapping was used to refine the map position of the IRS-2 gene and, in the absence of polymorphic markers within the gene, to identify nearby markers. The IRS-2 gene was placed 23cR from the marker D13S1265 on chromosome 13q34. 200 affected sib-pairs were genotyped for three markers across the region. Nonparametric linkage analysis (GENEHUNTER) used with this data found no evidence of excess allele sharing in the IRS-2 gene region. We therefore concluded that variation in the IRS-2 gene is unlikely to contribute to Type II diabetes in this discrete Caucasian population.