The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae attains energy homeostasis through complex regulatory events that are predominantly controlled by the Snf1 kinase. This master regulator senses the stress and energy starvation and activates the metabolic processes to produce ATP and inhibits biosynthesis. In doing so, Snf1 controls the switch between catabolism and anabolism accordingly, and regulates the cellular growth and development in coordination with other signaling pathways. Since its mammalian ortholog AMPK, a drug target for obesity and type II diabetes, also exerts analogous control of metabolism, there has been extensive interest recently to understand the chemical and biological aspects of Snf1 activation and regulation in yeast to expedite human disease studies as well as fundamental understanding of yeast. This review will focus on how Snf1 regulates lipid metabolism based on the cellular energy status in yeast and drawing parallels with the mammalian system.
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