We previously showed that Cidea(-/-) mice are resistant to diet-induced obesity through the upregulation of energy expenditure. The AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), consisting of catalytic alpha subunit and regulatory subunits beta and gamma, has a pivotal function in energy homoeostasis. We show here that AMPK protein levels and enzymatic activity were significantly increased in the brown adipose tissue of Cidea(-/-) mice. We also found that Cidea is colocalized with AMPK in the endoplasmic reticulum and forms a complex with AMPK in vivo through specific interaction with the beta subunit of AMPK, but not with the alpha or gamma subunit. When co-expressed with Cidea, the stability of AMPK-beta subunit was dramatically reduced due to increased ubiquitination-mediated degradation, which depends on a physical interaction between Cidea and AMPK. Furthermore, AMPK stability and enzymatic activity were increased in Cidea(-/-) adipocytes differentiated from mouse embryonic fibroblasts or preadipocytes. Our data strongly suggest that AMPK can be regulated by Cidea-mediated ubiquitin-dependent proteosome degradation, and provide a molecular explanation for the increased energy expenditure and lean phenotype in Cidea-null mice.