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J Biol Chem. 2003 Aug 1;278(31):28372-7. Epub 2003 May 23.

Glucose metabolism and energy homeostasis in mouse hearts overexpressing dominant negative alpha2 subunit of AMP-activated protein kinase.

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Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Laboratory for Physiological Chemistry, Cardiovascular Division and Research Division, Joslin Diabetes Center, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is an energy-sensing enzyme that plays a pivotal role in regulating cellular metabolism for sustaining energy homeostasis under stress conditions. Activation of AMPK has been observed in the heart during acute and chronic stresses, but its functional role has not been completely understood because of the lack of effective activators and inhibitors of this kinase in the heart. We generated transgenic mice (TG) with cardiac-specific overexpression of a dominant negative mutant of the AMPK alpha2 catalytic subunit to clarify the functional role of this kinase in myocardial ischemia. In isolated perfused hearts subjected to a 10-min ischemia, AMPK alpha2 activity in wild type (WT) increased substantially (by 4.5-fold), whereas AMPK alpha2 activity in TG was similar to the level of WT at base line. Basal AMPK alpha1 activity was unchanged in TG and increased normally during ischemia. Ischemia stimulated a 2.5-fold increase in 2-deoxyglucose uptake over base line in WT, whereas the inactivation of AMPK alpha2 in TG significantly blunted this response. Using 31P NMR spectroscopy, we found that ATP depletion was accelerated in TG hearts during no-flow ischemia, and these hearts developed left ventricular dysfunction manifested by an early and more rapid increase in left ventricular end-diastolic pressure. The exacerbated ATP depletion could not be attributed to impaired glycolytic ATP synthesis because TG hearts consumed slightly more glycogen during this period of no-flow ischemia. Thus, AMPK alpha2 is necessary for maintaining myocardial energy homeostasis during ischemia. It is likely that the functional role of AMPK in myocardial energy metabolism resides both in energy supply and utilization.

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