Pancreatic islet β-cells secrete the hormones insulin, amylin and pancreastatin. To search for further β-cell hormones, we purified peptides from secretory granules isolated from cultured murine βTC6-F7 β-cells. We identified a 34-amino-acid peptide (3948Da), corresponding to Asp69–Leu102 of the proinsulin-like growth factor II E-peptide, which we have termed ‘preptin’. Preptin, is present in islet β-cells and undergoes glucose-mediated co-secretion with insulin. Synthetic preptin increases insulin secretion from glucose-stimulated βTC6-F7 cells in a concentration-dependent and saturable manner. Preptin infusion into the isolated, perfused rat pancreas increases the second phase of glucose-mediated insulin secretion by 30%, while anti-preptin immunoglobulin infusion decreases the first and second phases of insulin secretion by 29 and 26% respectively. These findings suggest that preptin is a physiological amplifier of glucose-mediated insulin secretion.

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