Research Seminar: Regulation of energy homeostasis by the AMP-activated protein kinase cascade.
22 February 2017
Professor David Carling, Institute of Clinical Science, Imperial College London
Tuesday 28th February, 1.00 p.m., Stacey Lecture Theatre 1
AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) plays a major role in metabolic regulation. AMPK responds to changes in intracellular adenine nucleotide levels, and is activated by an increase in AMP/ADP relative to ATP. Activation of AMPK increases the rate of catabolic (ATP-generating) pathways and decreases the rate of anabolic (ATP-utilising) pathways. In addition to its role in maintaining intracellular energy balance, AMPK regulates whole body energy metabolism. Given its key role in controlling energy homeostasis, AMPK has attracted widespread interest as a potential therapeutic target for metabolic diseases. We recently solved the structure of AMPK in complex with a small molecule activator, revealing important insights into the mechanism of activation of AMPK. We have generated a transgenic mouse model that allows us to express AMPK harbouring a gain-of-function mutation which has allowed us to examine the effect of AMPK activation on metabolic pathways in vivo. The use of this new model offers us the opportunity to explore the physiological role of AMPK.