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FEBS Lett. 2008 Jan 9;582(1):81-9. Epub 2007 Nov 20.

Role of AMP-activated protein kinase in the metabolic syndrome and in heart disease.

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Division of Molecular Physiology, College of Life Sciences, University of Dundee, Dow Street, Dundee DD1 5EH, Scotland, UK.


Obesity, type 2 diabetes and the metabolic syndrome are disorders of energy balance, which the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) regulates both at the cellular and whole body levels. AMPK switches cells from an anabolic state where nutrients are taken up and stored, to a catabolic state where they are oxidized. Drugs that activate AMPK indirectly (metformin and thiazolidinediones) are now the mainstay of treatment for type 2 diabetes, but more direct AMPK activators may have fewer side effects. However, activating mutations in AMPK can cause heart disease, and it will be important to look for adverse effects in the heart.

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