Activating signal cointegrator 2 (ASC-2) is a transcriptional coactivator of many nuclear receptors (NRs) and other transcription factors and contains two NR-interacting LXXLL motifs (NR boxes). In the pancreas, ASC-2 is expressed only in the endocrine cells of the islets of Langerhans, but not in the exocrine cells. Thus, we examined the potential role of ASC-2 in insulin secretion from pancreatic beta-cells. Overexpressed ASC-2 increased glucose-elicited insulin secretion, whereas insulin secretion was decreased in islets from ASC-2+/- mice. DN1 and DN2 are two dominant-negative fragments of ASC-2 that contain NR boxes 1 and 2, respectively, and block the interactions of cognate NRs with the endogenous ASC-2. Primary rat islets ectopically expressing DN1 or DN2 exhibited decreased insulin secretion. Furthermore, relative to the wild type, ASC-2+/- mice showed reduced islet mass and number, which correlated with increased apoptosis and decreased proliferation of ASC-2+/- islets. These results suggest that ASC-2 regulates insulin secretion and beta-cell survival and that the regulatory role of ASC-2 in insulin secretion appears to involve, at least in part, its interaction with NRs via its two NR boxes.