Effects of the immunosuppressant cyclosporin A (CsA), a specific inhibitor of Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein phosphatase (PP2B), were examined with regard to the induction of insulin secretion from MIN6 cells, a glucose-responsive cell line derived from mouse insulinoma. CsA had no effect on basal insulin secretion from MIN6 cells, but did increase glucose-, tolbutamide-, and KCl-induced insulin secretion. Treatment of the cells with CsA resulted in a dose-dependent increase in insulin secretion, which was maximal at 3 μM. CsA inhibited PP2B activity in a dose-dependent manner, and the increase in insulin secretion correlated with the decrease in PP2B activity. In 32P-labeled cells, treatment with CsA for 30 min increased phosphorylation of synapsin I-like protein by 50 ± 5.7%. As revealed by one- dimensional phosphopeptide mapping of 32P-labeled synapsin I-like protein, treatment with CsA for 30 min increased phosphorylation of site II of synapsin I-like protein by 59 ± 8%, which is phosphorylated by calmodulin kinase II. Messenger RNAs, which hybridize with complementary DNAs of calcineurin A and B subunits from rat brain, were detected in MIN6 cells. Western blot analysis showed a 61-kDa band, which interacts with rat brain calcineurin A antibody. Similar increases in secretagogue-induced insulin secretion with CsA were observed for HIT-T15 cells. These results suggest that CsA stimulates glucose-induced insulin secretion by inhibiting the activity of PP2B, an event that may be involved in mechanisms governing glucose-induced insulin secretion via dephosphorylation of synapsin I-like protein in MIN6 cells.
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