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Yeungnam Univ J Med > Volume 29(2); 2012 > Article
Yeungnam University Journal of Medicine 2012;29(2):77-82.
DOI:    Published online December 31, 2012.
Effects of AMP-activated Protein Kinase Activating Compounds and Its Mechanism.
Hyoung Chul Choi
Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine, Yeungnam University, Daegu, Korea.
AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is an important cellular fuel sensor. Its activation requires phosphorylation at Thr-172, which resides in the activation loop of the alpha1 and alpha2 subunits. Several AMPK upstream kinases are capable of phosphorylating AMPK at Thr-172, including LKB1 and CaMKKbeta (Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase kinasebeta). AMPK has been implicated in the regulation of physiological signals, such as in the inhibition of cholesterol fatty acid, and protein synthesis, and enhancement of glucose uptake and blood flow. AMPK activation also exhibits several salutary effects on the vascular function and improves vascular abnormalities. AMPK is modulated by numerous hormones and cytokines that regulate the energy balance in the whole body. These hormone and cytokines include leptin, adiponectin, ghrelin, and even thyroid hormones. Moreover, AMPK is activated by several drugs and xenobiotics. Some of these are in being clinically used to treat type 2 diabetes (e.g., metformin and thiazolidinediones), hypertension (e.g., nifedipine and losartan), and impaired blood flow (e.g., aspirin, statins, and cilostazol). I reviewed the precise mechanisms of the AMPK activation pathway and AMPK-modulating drugs.
Key Words: AMPK, LKB1, Metformin, Nifedipine, Aspirin
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