Transcriptional and post-translational activation of AMPKα by oxidative, heat, and cold stresses in the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum

  • Heng Jiang
  • Nan Zhang
  • Minxuan Chen
  • Xiangkun Meng
  • Caihong Ji
  • Huichen Ge
  • Fan Dong
  • Lijun Miao
  • Xuemei Yang
  • Xin Xu
  • Kun Qian
  • Jianjun WangEmail author
Original Paper


The AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) has important roles in the regulation of energy metabolism, and AMPK activity and its regulation have been the focus of relevant investigations. However, functional characterization of AMPK is still limited in insects. In this study, the full-length cDNA coding AMPKα (TcAMPKα) was isolated from the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum. The TcAMPKα gene contains an ORF of 1581 bp encoding a protein of 526 amino acid residues, which shared conserved domain structure with Drosophila melanogaster and mammalian orthologs. Exposure of female adults to oxidative, heat, and cold stresses caused an increase in TcAMPKα mRNA expression levels and phosphorylation of Thr-173 in the activation loop. The RNAi-mediated knockdown of TcAMPKα resulted in the increased sensitivity of T. castaneum to oxidative, heat, and cold stresses. These results suggest that stress signals regulate TcAMPKα activity, and TcAMPKα plays an important role in enabling protective mechanisms and processes that confer resistance to environmental stress.


Tribolium castaneum AMPK Stress resistance Phosphorylation RNAi 


Author contributions

JW conceived and designed research. HJ, NZ, MC, CJ, HG, and XX conducted experiments. XM, FD, LM, XY, and KQ analyzed data. HJ and JW wrote the manuscript. All authors read and approved the manuscript.

Funding information

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China under grant nos. 31572000 and 31871974.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

12192_2019_1030_MOESM1_ESM.docx (39 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 38 kb)


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Copyright information

© Cell Stress Society International 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Horticulture and Plant ProtectionYangzhou UniversityYangzhouChina

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