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      LKB1 deletion with the RIP2.Cre transgene modifies pancreatic β-cell morphology and enhances insulin secretion in vivo

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          The tumor suppressor liver kinase B1 (LKB1), also called STK11, is a protein kinase mutated in Peutz-Jeghers syndrome. LKB1 phosphorylates AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and several related protein kinases. Whereas deletion of both catalytic isoforms of AMPK from the pancreatic β-cell and hypothalamic neurons using the rat insulin promoter (RIP2).Cre transgene (βAMPKdKO) diminishes insulin secretion in vivo, deletion of LKB1 in the β-cell with an inducible Pdx-1.CreER transgene enhances insulin secretion in mice. To determine whether the differences between these models reflect genuinely distinct roles for the two kinases in the β-cell or simply differences in the timing and site(s) of deletion, we have therefore created mice deleted for LKB1 with the RIP2.Cre transgene. In marked contrast to βAMPKdKO mice, βLKB1KO mice showed diminished food intake and weight gain, enhanced insulin secretion, unchanged insulin sensitivity, and improved glucose tolerance. In line with the phenotype of Pdx1-CreER mice, total β-cell mass and the size of individual islets and β-cells were increased and islet architecture was markedly altered in βLKB1KO islets. Signaling by mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) to eIF4-binding protein-1 and ribosomal S6 kinase was also enhanced. In contrast to Pdx1-CreER-mediated deletion, the expression of Glut2, glucose-induced changes in membrane potential and intracellular Ca2+ were sharply reduced in βLKB1KO mouse islets and the stimulation of insulin secretion was modestly inhibited. We conclude that LKB1 and AMPK play distinct roles in the control of insulin secretion and that the timing of LKB1 deletion, and/or its loss from extrapancreatic sites, influences the final impact on β-cell function.

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          Most cited references 47

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          Calmodulin-dependent protein kinase kinase-beta is an alternative upstream kinase for AMP-activated protein kinase.

          The AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is a critical regulator of energy balance at both the cellular and whole-body levels. Two upstream kinases have been reported to activate AMPK in cell-free assays, i.e., the tumor suppressor LKB1 and calmodulin-dependent protein kinase kinase. However, evidence that this is physiologically relevant currently only exists for LKB1. We now report that there is a significant basal activity and phosphorylation of AMPK in LKB1-deficient cells that can be stimulated by Ca2+ ionophores, and studies using the CaMKK inhibitor STO-609 and isoform-specific siRNAs show that CaMKKbeta is required for this effect. CaMKKbeta also activates AMPK much more rapidly than CaMKKalpha in cell-free assays. K(+)-induced depolarization in rat cerebrocortical slices, which increases intracellular Ca2+ without disturbing cellular adenine nucleotide levels, activates AMPK, and this is blocked by STO-609. Our results suggest a potential Ca(2+)-dependent neuroprotective pathway involving phosphorylation and activation of AMPK by CaMKKbeta.
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            LKB1 is a master kinase that activates 13 kinases of the AMPK subfamily, including MARK/PAR-1.

            We recently demonstrated that the LKB1 tumour suppressor kinase, in complex with the pseudokinase STRAD and the scaffolding protein MO25, phosphorylates and activates AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). A total of 12 human kinases (NUAK1, NUAK2, BRSK1, BRSK2, QIK, QSK, SIK, MARK1, MARK2, MARK3, MARK4 and MELK) are related to AMPK. Here we demonstrate that LKB1 can phosphorylate the T-loop of all the members of this subfamily, apart from MELK, increasing their activity >50-fold. LKB1 catalytic activity and the presence of MO25 and STRAD are required for activation. Mutation of the T-loop Thr phosphorylated by LKB1 to Ala prevented activation, while mutation to glutamate produced active forms of many of the AMPK-related kinases. Activities of endogenous NUAK2, QIK, QSK, SIK, MARK1, MARK2/3 and MARK4 were markedly reduced in LKB1-deficient cells. Neither LKB1 activity nor that of AMPK-related kinases was stimulated by phenformin or AICAR, which activate AMPK. Our results show that LKB1 functions as a master upstream protein kinase, regulating AMPK-related kinases as well as AMPK. Between them, these kinases may mediate the physiological effects of LKB1, including its tumour suppressor function.
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              AMP-kinase regulates food intake by responding to hormonal and nutrient signals in the hypothalamus.

              Obesity is an epidemic in Western society, and causes rapidly accelerating rates of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The evolutionarily conserved serine/threonine kinase, AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), functions as a 'fuel gauge' to monitor cellular energy status. We investigated the potential role of AMPK in the hypothalamus in the regulation of food intake. Here we report that AMPK activity is inhibited in arcuate and paraventricular hypothalamus (PVH) by the anorexigenic hormone leptin, and in multiple hypothalamic regions by insulin, high glucose and refeeding. A melanocortin receptor agonist, a potent anorexigen, decreases AMPK activity in PVH, whereas agouti-related protein, an orexigen, increases AMPK activity. Melanocortin receptor signalling is required for leptin and refeeding effects on AMPK in PVH. Dominant negative AMPK expression in the hypothalamus is sufficient to reduce food intake and body weight, whereas constitutively active AMPK increases both. Alterations of hypothalamic AMPK activity augment changes in arcuate neuropeptide expression induced by fasting and feeding. Furthermore, inhibition of hypothalamic AMPK is necessary for leptin's effects on food intake and body weight, as constitutively active AMPK blocks these effects. Thus, hypothalamic AMPK plays a critical role in hormonal and nutrient-derived anorexigenic and orexigenic signals and in energy balance.

                Author and article information

                1Section of Cell Biology, Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Medicine, and
                2Photonics Group, Department of Physics, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom
                Author notes
                Address for reprint requests and other correspondence: G. A. Rutter, Section of Cell Biology, Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, Dept. of Medicine, Imperial College London, London, UK (e-mail:
                Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab
                American Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
                American Physiological Society (Bethesda, MD)
                June 2010
                30 March 2010
                1 June 2011
                : 298
                : 6
                : E1261-E1273
                Copyright © 2010 the American Physiological Society

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