AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is an energy sensor that regulates cellular metabolism. When activated by a deficit in nutrient status, AMPK stimulates glucose uptake and lipid oxidation to produce energy, while turning off energy-consuming processes including glucose and lipid production to restore energy balance. AMPK controls whole-body glucose homeostasis by regulating metabolism in multiple peripheral tissues, such as skeletal muscle, liver, adipose tissues, and pancreatic β cells — key tissues in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes. By responding to diverse hormonal signals including leptin and adiponectin, AMPK serves as an intertissue signal integrator among peripheral tissues, as well as the hypothalamus, in the control of whole-body energy balance.
Yun Chau Long, Juleen R. Zierath
Structure and regulation of AMPK.