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FASEB J. 1995 Apr;9(7):541-6.

Inhibition of fatty acid and cholesterol synthesis by stimulation of AMP-activated protein kinase.

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Laboratory of Physiological Chemistry, International Institute of Cellular and Molecular Pathology, Brussels, Belgium.


AMP-activated protein kinase is a multisubstrate protein kinase that, in liver, inactivates both acetyl-CoA carboxylase, the rate-limiting enzyme of fatty acid synthesis, and 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-CoA reductase, the rate-limiting enzyme of cholesterol synthesis. AICAR (5-amino 4-imidazolecarboxamide ribotide, ZMP) was found to stimulate up to 10-fold rat liver AMP-activated protein kinase, with a half-maximal effect at approximately 5 mM. In accordance with previous observations, addition to suspensions of isolated rat hepatocytes of 50-500 microM AICAriboside, the nucleoside corresponding to ZMP, resulted in the accumulation of millimolar concentrations of the latter. This was accompanied by a dose-dependent inactivation of both acetyl-CoA carboxylase and 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase. Addition of 50-500 microM AICAriboside to hepatocyte suspensions incubated in the presence of various substrates, including glucose and lactate/pyruvate, caused a parallel inhibition of both fatty acid and cholesterol synthesis. With lactate/pyruvate (10/1 mM), half-maximal inhibition was obtained at approximately 100 microM, and near-complete inhibition at 500 microM AICAriboside. These findings open new perspectives for the simultaneous control of triglyceride and cholesterol synthesis by pharmacological stimulators of AMP-activated protein kinase.

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