Insulin secretion from pancreatic β-cells occurs in a biphasic manner. The loss of insulin secretion, entailing the inability of insulin granules to fuse with the plasma membrane (PM) via the formation of the SNARE complex, is a key determinant in impaired glucose tolerance and development of type 2 diabetes (T2D) . Synaptotagmins (Syt) are calcium sensors that regulate insulin-containing granule fusion to the PM for insulin secretion. Syt9 is highly expressed in β-cells; however, its role in insulin secretion is not well-characterized. Our goal is to determine how Syt9 affects insulin secretion from pancreatic β-cells. Mice lacking Syt9 (Syt9-/-) have improved glucose clearance with no change in insulin action than wild-type control mice. Interestingly, Syt9-/- mice showed increased plasma insulin levels at 5 min and 15 min post-glucose challenge. Similarly, islets isolated from Syt9-/- mice demonstrate increased stimulation of insulin secretion in response to the early phase insulin secretagogues (KCl and tolbutamide) compared to WT control islets. Similarly, siRNA-mediated knockdown of Syt9 in INS1 cells increased KCL-stimulated insulin secretion at 5 min and min. Altogether, these data suggest that Syt9 regulates the early phase of insulin secretion from β-cells. Strikingly, Syt9-/- mouse islets have reduced Tomosyn-1 levels (∼50%) without altering the levels of other key SNARE proteins (Stx1A, Stx4A, SNAP25) . Tomosyn-1, an inhibitor of insulin secretion whose increased protein abundance is associated with reduced insulin secretion, binds, cofractionates, and colocalizes with Syt9 and Stx1A. The knockdown of Tomosyn-1 in INS1 β-cells treated with KCL prevents the localization of Syt9 with Stx1A. Further, the knockdown of Syt9 or Tomosyn-1 increases the SNARE complex formation. In sum, these data demonstrate the identification of a novel Stx1A-Tomosyn-1-Syt9 molecular complex that regulates the fusion of insulin granules in the early phase.
M.Rahman: None. H.Alsharif: n/a. S.Bhatnagar: None.