AMPK signalling in health and disease

Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2017 Apr;45:31-37. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2017 Feb 21.


In eukaryotic cells AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) plays a major role in regulating cellular energy balance. AMPK responds to changes in intracellular adenine nucleotide levels, being activated by an increase in AMP/ADP relative to ATP. Activation of AMPK increases the rate of catabolic (ATP-generating) pathways and decreases the rate of anabolic (ATP-utilising) pathways. In addition to its role in maintaining intracellular energy balance, AMPK regulates whole body energy metabolism. Given its key role in controlling energy homeostasis, AMPK has attracted widespread interest as a potential therapeutic target for metabolic diseases, including type 2 diabetes and, more recently, cancer. Here I review the regulation of AMPK and its potential as a target for therapeutic intervention in human disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • AMP-Activated Protein Kinases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • AMP-Activated Protein Kinases / chemistry
  • AMP-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Energy Metabolism*
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • Metabolic Diseases / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Signal Transduction


  • AMP-Activated Protein Kinases