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J Lipid Res. 2006 Feb;47(2):412-20. Epub 2005 Nov 22.

Regulation of AMP-activated protein kinase and acetyl-CoA carboxylase phosphorylation by palmitate in skeletal muscle cells.

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School of Kinesiology and Health Science, York University, Toronto, Canada.


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs) on AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and acetyl-coenzyme A carboxylase (ACC) phosphorylation and beta-oxidation in skeletal muscle. L6 rat skeletal muscle cells were exposed to various concentrations of palmitate (1-800 microM). Subsequently, ACC and AMPK phosphorylation and fatty acid oxidation were measured. A 2-fold increase in both AMPK and ACC phosphorylation was observed in the presence of palmitate concentrations as low as 10 microM, which was also accompanied by a significant increase in fatty acid oxidation. The effect of palmitate on AMPK and ACC phosphorylation was dose-dependent, reaching maximum increases of 3.5- and 4.5-fold, respectively. Interestingly, ACC phosphorylation was coupled with AMPK activation at palmitate concentrations ranging from 10 to 100 microM; however, at concentrations >200 microM, ACC phosphorylation and fatty acid oxidation remained high even after AMPK phosphorylation was completely prevented by the use of a selective AMPK inhibitor. This indicates that LCFAs regulate ACC activity by AMPK-dependent and -independent mechanisms, based on their abundance in skeletal muscle cells. Here, we provide novel evidence that the AMPK/ACC pathway may operate as a mechanism to sense and respond to the lipid energy charge of skeletal muscle cells.

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