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Activation of AMPK by bitter melon triterpenoids involves CaMKKβ

Abstract

We recently showed that bitter melon-derived triterpenoids (BMTs) activate AMPK and increase GLUT4 translocation to the plasma membrane in vitro, and improve glucose disposal in insulin resistant models in vivo. Here we interrogated the mechanism by which these novel compounds activate AMPK, a leading anti-diabetic drug target. BMTs did not activate AMPK directly in an allosteric manner as AMP or the Abbott compound (A-769662) does, nor did they activate AMPK by inhibiting cellular respiration like many commonly used anti-diabetic medications. BMTs increased AMPK activity in both L6 myotubes and LKB1-deficient HeLa cells by 20-35%. Incubation with the CaMKKß inhibitor, STO-609, completely attenuated this effect suggesting a key role for CaMKKß in this activation. Incubation of L6 myotubes with the calcium chelator EGTA-AM did not alter this activation suggesting that the BMT-dependent activation was Ca2+-independent. We therefore propose that CaMKKß is a key upstream kinase for BMT-induced activation of AMPK

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This paper was published in RMIT Research Repository.

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