AMPK in Pathogens

  • Inês Mesquita
  • Diana Moreira
  • Belém Sampaio-Marques
  • Mireille Laforge
  • Anabela Cordeiro-da-Silva
  • Paula Ludovico
  • Jérôme Estaquier
  • Ricardo SilvestreEmail author
Part of the Experientia Supplementum book series (EXS, volume 107)


During host–pathogen interactions, a complex web of events is crucial for the outcome of infection. Pathogen recognition triggers powerful cellular signaling events that is translated into the induction and maintenance of innate and adaptive host immunity against infection. In opposition, pathogens employ active mechanisms to manipulate host cell regulatory pathways toward their proliferation and survival. Among these, subversion of host cell energy metabolism by pathogens is currently recognized to play an important role in microbial growth and persistence. Extensive studies have documented the role of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) signaling, a central cellular hub involved in the regulation of energy homeostasis, in host–pathogen interactions. Here, we highlight the most recent advances detailing how pathogens hijack cellular metabolism by suppressing or increasing the activity of the host energy sensor AMPK. We also address the role of lower eukaryote AMPK orthologues in the adaptive process to the host microenvironment and their contribution for pathogen survival, differentiation, and growth. Finally, we review the effects of pharmacological or genetic AMPK modulation on pathogen growth and persistence.


SNF1/AMPK Host-pathogen interactions Infection Metabolism Microbial auxotrophy Bioenergetics 


Funding Statement

This work was supported by grants to JE from the Agence Nationale de Recherches sur le Sida et les Hépatites Virales (ANRS) and from The Canadian HIV Cure Enterprise Team Grant HIG-13305 from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) in partnership with CANFAR and IAS. JE acknowledges the support of the Canada Research Chair program. It was also supported by FCT—Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia/MEC—Ministério da Educação e Ciência através de fundos nacionais e quando aplicável cofinanciado pelo FEDER, no âmbito do Acordo de Parceria PT2020 referente à unidade de investigação n° 4293. DM is supported by SFRH/BD/91543/2012. RS is supported by the Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT) (IF/00021/2014).


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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Inês Mesquita
    • 1
    • 2
  • Diana Moreira
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • Belém Sampaio-Marques
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mireille Laforge
    • 6
  • Anabela Cordeiro-da-Silva
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • Paula Ludovico
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jérôme Estaquier
    • 6
    • 7
  • Ricardo Silvestre
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Life and Health Sciences Research Institute (ICVS), School of Health SciencesUniversity of MinhoBragaPortugal
  2. 2.ICVS/3Bs-PT Government Associate LaboratoryGuimarães, BragaPortugal
  3. 3.i3S-Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em SaúdeUniversidade do PortoPortoPortugal
  4. 4.IBMC-Instituto de Biologia Molecular e CelularUniversidade do PortoPortoPortugal
  5. 5.Departamento de Ciências Biológicas, Faculdade de FarmáciaUniversidade do PortoPortoPortugal
  6. 6.CNRS FR 3636Université Paris DescartesParisFrance
  7. 7.Centre de Recherche du CHU de QuébecUniversité LavalQuébecCanada

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