The sodium-calcium exchanger isoform 1 (NCX1) is intimately involved in the regulation of calcium (Ca(2+)) homeostasis in many tissues including excitation-secretion coupling in pancreatic beta-cells. Our group has previously found that intracellular long-chain acyl-coenzyme As (acyl CoAs) are potent regulators of the cardiac NCX1.1 splice variant. Despite this, little is known about the biophysical properties of beta-cell NCX1 splice variants and the effects of intracellular modulators on their important physiological function in health and disease. Here, we show that the forward-mode activity of beta-cell NCX1 splice variants is differentially modulated by acyl-CoAs and is dependent both upon the intrinsic biophysical properties of the particular NCX1 splice variant as well as the side chain length and degree of saturation of the acyl-CoA moiety. Notably, saturated long-chain acyl-CoAs increased both peak and total NCX1 activity, whereas polyunsaturated long-chain acyl-CoAs did not show this effect. Furthermore, we have identified the exon within the alternative splicing region that bestows sensitivity to acyl-CoAs. We conclude that the physiologically relevant forward-mode activity of NCX1 splice variants expressed in the pancreatic beta-cell are sensitive to acyl-CoAs of different saturation and alterations in intracellular acyl-CoA levels may ultimately lead to defects in Ca(2+)-mediated exocytosis and insulin secretion.