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The Energy Sensor AMPK: Adaptations to Exercise, Nutritional and Hormonal Signals

Abstract : To sustain metabolism, intracellular ATP concentration must be regulated within an appropriate range. This coordination is achieved through the function of the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), a cellular “fuel gauge” that is expressed in essentially all eukaryotic cells as heterotrimeric complexes containing catalytic α subunits and regulatory β and γ subunits. When cellular energy status has been compromised, AMPK is activated by increases in AMP:ATP or ADP:ATP ratios and acts to restore energy homeostasis by stimulating energy production via catabolic pathways while decreasing non-essential energy-consuming pathways. Although the primary function of AMPK is to regulate energy homeostasis at a cell-autonomous level, in multicellular organisms, the AMPK system has evolved to interact with hormones to regulate energy intake and expenditure at the whole body level. Thus, AMPK functions as a signaling hub, coordinating anabolic and catabolic pathways to balance nutrient supply with energy demand at both the cellular and whole-body levels. AMPK is activated by various metabolic stresses such as ischemia or hypoxia or glucose deprivation and has both acute and long-term effects on metabolic pathways and key cellular functions. In addition, AMPK appears to be a major sensor of energy demand in exercising muscle and acts both as a multitask gatekeeper and an energy regulator in skeletal muscle. Acute activation of AMPK has been shown to promote glucose transport and fatty acid oxidation while suppressing glycogen synthase activity and protein synthesis. Chronic activation of AMPK induces a shift in muscle fiber type composition, reduces markers of muscle degeneration and enhances muscle oxidative capacity potentially by stimulating mitochondrial biogenesis. Furthermore, recent evidence demonstrates that AMPK may not only regulate metabolism during exercise but also in the recovery phase. AMPK acts as a molecular transducer between exercise and insulin signaling and is necessary for the ability of prior contraction/exercise to increase muscle insulin sensitivity. Based on these observations, drugs that activate AMPK might be expected to be useful in the treatment of metabolic disorders and insulin resistance in various conditions.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, November 5, 2019 - 7:30:06 PM
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  • HAL Id : inserm-02349894, version 1
  • ARXIV : 1911.02345



Benoit Viollet. The Energy Sensor AMPK: Adaptations to Exercise, Nutritional and Hormonal Signals. Spiegelman B. Hormones, Metabolism and the Benefits of Exercise, Hormones, Metabolism and the Benefits of Exercise, Springer, pp.13-24, 2018, Research and Perspectives in Endocrine Interactions, 978-3-319-72789-9. ⟨inserm-02349894⟩



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