OBJECTIVE - In vitro models suggest that free fatty acid-induced apoptotic β-cell death is mediated through protein kinase C (PKC)δ. To examine the role of PKCδ signaling in vivo, transgenic mice overexpressing a kinase-negative PKCδ (PKCδKN) selectively in β-cells were generated and analyzed for glucose homeostasis and β-cell survival. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS - Mice were fed a standard or high-fat diet (HFD). Blood glucose and insulin levels were determined after glucose loads. Islet size, cleaved caspase-3, and PKCδ expression were estimated by immunohistochemistry. In isolated islet cells apoptosis was assessed with TUNEL/TO-PRO3 DNA staining and the mitochondrial potential by rhodamine-123 staining. Changes in phosphorylation and subcellular distribution of forkhead box class O1 (FOXO1) were analyzed by Western blotting and immunohistochemistry. RESULTS - PKCδKN mice were protected from HFD-induced glucose intolerance. This was accompanied by increased insulin levels in vivo, by an increased islet size, and by a reduced staining of β-cells for cleaved caspase-3 compared with wild-type litter-mates. In accordance, long-term treatment with palmitate increased apoptotic cell death of isolated islet cells from wild-type but not from PKCδKN mice. PKCδKN overexpression protected islet cells from palmitate-induced mitochondrial dysfunction and inhibited nuclear accumulation of FOXO1 in mouse islet and INS-1E cells. The inhibition of nuclear accumulation of FOXO1 by PKCδKN was accompanied by an increased phosphorylation of FOXO1 at Ser256 and a significant reduction of FOXO1 protein. CONCLUSIONS - Overexpression of PKCδKN in β-cells protects from HFD-induced β-cell failure in vivo by a mechanism that involves inhibition of fatty acid-mediated apoptosis, inhibition of mitochondrial dysfunction, and inhibition of FOXO1 activation. © 2010 by the American Diabetes Association.