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Mol Med. 2011 Sep-Oct;17(9-10):1022-30. doi: 10.2119/molmed.2011.00163. Epub 2011 Jun 1.

Small-molecule activators of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), RSVA314 and RSVA405, inhibit adipogenesis.

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Litwin-Zucker Research Center for the Study of Alzheimer's Disease, The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, Manhasset, New York, USA.


AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is a sensor and regulator of cellular energy metabolism potentially implicated in a broad range of conditions, including obesity and Alzheimer's disease. Its role in the control of key metabolic enzymes makes this kinase a central player in glucose and lipid homeostasis. Recently, by screening a library of synthetic small molecules selected for their structural similarity with the natural polyphenol resveratrol, we identified RSVA314 and RSVA405 as potent indirect activators of AMPK (half-maximal effective concentration [EC₅₀] = 1 μmol/L in cell-based assays). Here we show that RSVA314 and RSVA405 can significantly activate AMPK and inhibit acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC), one target of AMPK and a key regulator of fatty acid biogenesis, in nondifferentiated and proliferating 3T3-L1 adipocytes. We found that RSVA314 and RSVA405 treatments inhibited 3T3-L1 adipocyte differentiation by interfering with mitotic clonal expansion during preadipocyte proliferation (half-maximal inhibitory concentration [IC₅₀] = 0.5 μmol/L). RSVA314 and RSVA405 prevented the adipogenesis-dependent transcriptional changes of multiple gene products involved in the adipogenic process, including peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-γ, CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein α (C/EBPα), fatty acid synthase, fatty acid binding protein 4 (aP2), RANTES or resistin. Furthermore, orally administered RSVA405 at 20 and 100 mg/kg/d significantly reduced the body weight gain of mice fed a high-fat diet. This work shows that the novel small-molecule activators of AMPK (RSVA314 and RSVA405) are potent inhibitors of adipogenesis and thus may have therapeutic potential against obesity.

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