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Acta Pharm Sin B. 2017 May;7(3):249-259. doi: 10.1016/j.apsb.2016.12.003. Epub 2017 Mar 3.

Dissecting the role of AMP-activated protein kinase in human diseases.

Li J1, Zhong L2, Wang F1, Zhu H3,4,5.

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Institute of Food Science and Technology, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), Beijing 100193, China.
Life Science College of Tarim University, Xinjiang 843300, China.
State Key Laboratory for Bioactive Substances and Functions of Natural Medicines, Beijing 100050, China.
Beijing Key Laboratory of New Drug Mechanisms and Pharmacological Evaluation Study, Beijing 100050, China.
Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100050, China.


AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), known as a sensor and a master of cellular energy balance, integrates various regulatory signals including anabolic and catabolic metabolic processes. Accompanying the application of genetic methods and a plethora of AMPK agonists, rapid progress has identified AMPK as an attractive therapeutic target for several human diseases, such as cancer, type 2 diabetes, atherosclerosis, myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury and neurodegenerative disease. The role of AMPK in metabolic and energetic modulation both at the intracellular and whole body levels has been reviewed elsewhere. In the present review, we summarize and update the paradoxical role of AMPK implicated in the diseases mentioned above and put forward the challenge encountered. Thus it will be expected to provide important clues for exploring rational methods of intervention in human diseases.


AMPK; Atherosclerosis; Cancer; Myocardial ischemia; Neurodegenerative disease; Type 2 diabetes

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