Encyclopedia of Molecular Pharmacology

Living Edition
| Editors: Stefan Offermanns, Walter Rosenthal

AMP-Activated Protein Kinase

  • D. Grahame HardieEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-21573-6_177-1



AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is a member of the serine/threonine protein kinase family, which modify other proteins (target proteins) by attaching phosphate groups to the side chains of serine or threonine, thus modifying their function. The primary role of AMPK is to sense energy status by monitoring the cellular ratios of AMP:ATP and ADP:AMP. Once activated by energy stress, AMPK acts to restore homeostasis by switching off downstream processes consuming ATP (such as cell growth and proliferation) while switching on catabolic processes generating ATP (such as glucose uptake and mitochondrial biogenesis). AMPK is also involved in regulating whole-body energy balance and has been identified as a key target in treating disorders such as obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Basic Characteristics


AMPK occurs universally in the form of heterotrimeric complexes containing a catalytic α subunit and regulatory β and γ subunits (Ross et al. 2016). Humans...

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg New York 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Cell Signalling and Immunology, School of Life SciencesUniversity of DundeeDundeeUK