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Endocrinology. 2011 Aug;152(8):3143-54. doi: 10.1210/en.2011-0155. Epub 2011 Jun 14.

Suppression of AMPK activation via S485 phosphorylation by IGF-I during hyperglycemia is mediated by AKT activation in vascular smooth muscle cells.

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Department of Medicine, University of North Carolina, School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599, USA.


As a metabolic sensor, the serine/threonine protein kinase AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) promotes the adaptation of cells to signals arising from nutrients, hormones, and growth factors. The ability of IGF-I to stimulate protein synthesis is suppressed by AMPK, therefore, these studies were undertaken to determine whether IGF-I modulates AMPK activity. IGF-I dose-dependently suppressed phosphorylation of AMPK T172, and it stimulated AMPK S485 phosphorylation in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC). To determine whether stimulation of AMPK S485 phosphorylation was mediating this response, VSMC were transduced with a mutant AMPKα (AMPK S485A). Expression of this altered form inhibited the ability of IGF-I to suppress AMPK T172 activation, which resulted in inhibition of IGF-I-stimulated phosphorylation of P70S6 kinase. In contrast, expression of an AMPK S485D mutant resulted in constitutive suppression of AMPK activity and was associated with increased IGF-I-stimulated P70S6K phosphorylation and protein synthesis. The addition of a specific AKT inhibitor or expression of an AKT1 short hairpin RNA inhibited AMPK S485 phosphorylation, and it attenuated the IGF-I-induced decrease in AMPK T172 phosphorylation. Exposure to high glucose concentrations suppressed AMPK activity and stimulated S485 phosphorylation, and IGF-I stimulated a further increase in S485 phosphorylation and AMPK T172 suppression. We conclude that AMPK S485 phosphorylation negatively regulates AMPK activity by modulating the T172 phosphorylation response to high glucose and IGF-I. IGF-I stimulates S485 phosphorylation through AKT1. The results suggest that AMPK plays an inhibitory role in modulating IGF-I-stimulated protein synthesis and that IGF-I must down-regulate AMPK activity to induce an optimal anabolic response.

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