AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) responds to impaired cellular energy status by stimulating substrate metabolism for ATP generation. Mutation of the γ2 regulatory subunit of AMPK in humans renders the kinase insensitive to energy status and causes glycogen storage cardiomyopathy via unknown mechanisms. Using transgenic mice expressing one of the mutant γ2 subunits (N488I) in the heart, we found that aberrant high activity of AMPK in the absence of energy deficit caused extensive remodeling of the substrate metabolism pathways to accommodate increases in both glucose uptake and fatty acid oxidation in the hearts of γ2 mutant mice via distinct, yet synergistic mechanisms resulting in selective fuel storage as glycogen. Increased glucose entry in the γ2 mutant mouse hearts was directed through the remodeled metabolic network toward glycogen synthesis and, at a substantially higher glycogen level, recycled through the glycogen pool to enter glycolysis. Thus, the metabolic consequences of chronic activation of AMPK in the absence of energy deficiency is distinct from those previously reported during stress conditions. These findings are of particular importance in considering AMPK as a target for the treatment of metabolic diseases.
ASJC Scopus subject areas