LKB1 and AMPK in cell polarity and division

Trends Cell Biol. 2008 Apr;18(4):193-8. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2008.01.008. Epub 2008 Mar 7.


LKB1 and AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) are serine-threonine kinases implicated in key cellular pathways, including polarity establishment and energy sensing, respectively. Recent in vivo analyses in Drosophila have demonstrated vital roles for both AMPK and LKB1--in part through the myosin regulatory light chain--in cell polarity and cell division. Evidence from mammalian experiments also supports non-metabolic functions for LKB1 and AMPK. This review examines unanticipated AMPK functions for initiating and maintaining cell polarity and completing normal cell division. The ability of AMPK to sense energy status might be coupled with fundamental cell biological functions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • AMP-Activated Protein Kinase Kinases
  • AMP-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Actomyosin / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Cell Division
  • Cell Polarity
  • Drosophila Proteins / physiology*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / metabolism*
  • Enzyme Activation
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic*
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Protein Kinases / physiology*
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction


  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Actomyosin
  • Protein Kinases
  • AMPKalpha protein, Drosophila
  • LKB1 protein, Drosophila
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • AMP-Activated Protein Kinase Kinases
  • AMP-Activated Protein Kinases