Energy homeostasis and stress resistance are closely linked on aging and longevity. AMPK (AMP-activated protein kinase) is a sensor of cellular energy status activated by metabolic stress that accelerates AMP/ATP ratio, regulating cell polarity, metabolic homeostasis and sensitivity to stress resistance. AMPK could be therapeutic targets for cancer, diabetic mellitus and obesity, providing a possible link to metabolic syndrome. However, little is known how functional deficiency of AMPK affects longevity and stress resistance in vivo due to its redundancy and lethality in null-mutant. SNF1A/dAMPKalpha (CG3051) is a single orthologue for its mammalian counterparts in Drosophila melanogaster. Using time- and tissue-specific RNAi system in D. melanogaster, we found that adult-onset inhibition of dAMPKalpha especially in muscle shortens lifespan. In addition, inhibition of dAMPKalpha in muscle enhances sensitivity to paraquat and starvation stress. Real-time PCR analysis showed that inhibition of dAMPKalpha in muscle affected the transcriptional regulation of various genes in response to starvation. These results raise the possibility that muscle is one of major tissues in which AMPK plays a critical role on longevity and stress resistance and the intervention to activate AMPK in muscle could be a prominent treatment strategy for longevity.
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