• Made available online as an Accepted Preprint 22 July 2009
  • Accepted Preprint first posted online on 22 July 2009

AMPK as a mediator of hormonal signalling

  1. Márta Korbonits
  1. Endocrinology, Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, William Harvey Research Institute, Queen Mary University of London, Charterhouse Square, London EC1M 6BQ, UK
  1. (Correspondence should be addressed to M Korbonits; Email: m.korbonits{at}qmul.ac.uk)


AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is a key molecular player in energy homeostasis at both cellular and whole-body levels. AMPK has been shown to mediate the metabolic effects of hormones such as leptin, ghrelin, adiponectin, glucocorticoids and insulin as well as cannabinoids. Generally, activated AMPK stimulates catabolic pathways (glycolysis, fatty acid oxidation and mitochondrial biogenesis) and inhibits anabolic pathways (gluconeogenesis, glycogen, fatty acid and protein synthesis), and has a direct appetite-regulating effect in the hypothalamus. Drugs that activate AMPK, namely metformin and thiazolidinediones, are often used to treat metabolic disorders. Thus, AMPK is now recognised as a potential target for the treatment of obesity and associated co-morbidities.

  • Revision received 26 June 2009
  • Accepted 22 July 2009
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