Biochemistry (Moscow)

, Volume 80, Issue 2, pp 127–144 | Cite as

AMP-activated protein kinase: Structure, function, and role in pathological processes

  • D. S. NovikovaEmail author
  • A. V. Garabadzhiu
  • G. Melino
  • N. A. Barlev
  • V. G. Tribulovich


Recently, AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) has emerged as a key regulator of energy balance at cellular and whole-body levels. Due to the involvement in multiple signaling pathways, AMPK efficiently controls ATP-consuming/ATP-generating processes to maintain energy homeostasis under stress conditions. Loss of the kinase activity or attenuation of its expression leads to a variety of metabolic disorders and increases cancer risk. In this review, we discuss recent findings on the structure of AMPK, its activation mechanisms, as well as the consequences of its targets in regulation of metabolism. Particular attention is given to low-molecular-weight compounds that activate or inhibit AMPK; the perspective of therapeutic use of such modulators in treatment of several common diseases is discussed.

Key words

AMP-activated protein kinase energy metabolism metabolic syndrome diabetes type 2 cancer AMPK activators AMPK inhibitors 



acetyl-CoA carboxylase


Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase kinase


cluster of differentiation 36 fatty acid translocase


eukaryotic elongation factor-2 kinase


endothelial nitric oxide synthase


transcription factor of the forkhead family


glucose transporter 1/glucose transporter 4


glucose 6-phosphatase


glycerol phosphate acyl transferase


glycogen synthase


histone deacetylase 5


hypoxia-inducible factor 1α


hexokinase II


3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-CoA reductase


hormone-sensitive lipase


liver kinase B1


mouse protein-25


mammalian target of rapamycin (kinase)


mTOR kinase complex 1


nuclear respiratory factor




phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase


PPARγ coactivator 1α


protein kinase A


peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor


regulatory-associated protein of mTOR


GTP-binding protein


sterol regulatory element-binding protein 1c


STE20-related kinase adapter protein


TGF-β-activated kinase-1


proteins of TBC1 domain family


tuberous sclerosis complex 2 (tuberin)


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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. S. Novikova
    • 1
    Email author
  • A. V. Garabadzhiu
    • 1
  • G. Melino
    • 1
  • N. A. Barlev
    • 1
  • V. G. Tribulovich
    • 1
  1. 1.Saint Petersburg State Technological InstituteTechnical UniversitySt. PetersburgRussia

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