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FEBS Lett. 1995 Dec 27;377(3):421-5.

5'-AMP inhibits dephosphorylation, as well as promoting phosphorylation, of the AMP-activated protein kinase. Studies using bacterially expressed human protein phosphatase-2C alpha and native bovine protein phosphatase-2AC.

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Department of Biochemistry, The University, Dundee, Scotland, UK.


Human protein phosphatase-2C alpha (PP2C alpha) was purified to homogeneity after expression in Escherichia coli. AMP inhibited the dephosphorylation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), but not phosphocasein, by PP2C alpha. The concentration dependence and the effects of other nucleotides (ATP and formycin A-5'-monophosphate) suggest that AMP acts by binding to the same site which causes direct allosteric activation of AMPK. A similar, although less pronounced, effect was observed with another protein phosphatase (PP2AC). We have now shown that AMPK activates the AMPK cascade by four mechanisms, which should make the system exquisitely sensitive to changes in AMP concentration.

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