cAMP-elevating agents such as the incretin hormone glucagon-like peptide-1 potentiate glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS) from pancreatic β-cells. However, a debate has existed since the 1970s concerning whether or not cAMP signaling is essential for glucose alone to stimulate insulin secretion. Here, we report that the first-phase kinetic component of GSIS is cAMP-dependent, as revealed through the use of a novel highly membrane permeable para-acetoxybenzyl (pAB) ester prodrug that is a bioactivatable derivative of the cAMP antagonist adenosine-3',5'-cyclic monophosphorothioate, Rp-isomer (Rp-cAMPS). In dynamic perifusion assays of human or rat islets, a step-wise increase of glucose concentration leads to biphasic insulin secretion, and under these conditions, 8-bromoadenosine-3',5'-cyclic monophosphorothioate, Rp-isomer, 4-acetoxybenzyl ester (Rp-8-Br-cAMPS-pAB) inhibits first-phase GSIS by up to 80%. Surprisingly, second-phase GSIS is inhibited to a much smaller extent (≤20%). Using luciferase, fluorescence resonance energy transfer, and bioluminescence resonance energy transfer assays performed in living cells, we validate that Rp-8-Br-cAMPS-pAB does in fact block cAMP-dependent protein kinase activation. Novel effects of Rp-8-Br-cAMPS-pAB to block the activation of cAMP-regulated guanine nucleotide exchange factors (Epac1, Epac2) are also validated using genetically encoded Epac biosensors, and are independently confirmed in an in vitro Rap1 activation assay using Rp-cAMPS and Rp-8-Br-cAMPS. Thus, in addition to revealing the cAMP dependence of first-phase GSIS from human and rat islets, these findings establish a pAB-based chemistry for the synthesis of highly membrane permeable prodrug derivatives of Rp-cAMPS that act with micromolar or even nanomolar potency to inhibit cAMP signaling in living cells.