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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Isoform-specific purification and substrate specificity of the 5'-AMP-activated protein kinase.

The 5'-AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) mediates several cellular responses to metabolic stress. Rat liver contains at least two isoforms of this enzyme, either alpha1 or alpha2 catalytic subunits together with beta and gamma noncatalytic subunits in a trimeric complex. The alpha1 isoform is purified using a peptide substrate affinity chromatography column with ADR1 (222-234)P229 (LKKLTRRPSFSAQ), corresponding to the cAMP-dependent protein kinase phosphorylation site in the yeast transcriptional activator of the ADH2 gene, ADR1. This peptide is phosphorylated at Ser230 by AMPK alpha1 with a Km of 3.8 microM and a Vmax of 4.8 micromol/min/mg compared to the commonly used rat acetyl-CoA carboxylase (73-87)A77R86-87 peptide substrate, HMRSAMSGLHLVKRR, with a Km of 33.3 microM and a Vmax of 8.1 micromol/min/mg. Thus, the AMPK exhibits some overlapping specificity with the cAMP-dependent protein kinase. The rat liver AMPK alpha1 isoform has a Kcat approximately 250-fold higher than the AMPK alpha2 isoform isolated from rat liver. The AMPK alpha1 isoform readily phosphorylates peptides corresponding to the reported AMPK phosphorylation sites in rat, chicken, and yeast acetyl-CoA carboxylase and rat hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA reductase but not phosphorylase kinase. Based on previous peptide substrate specificity studies (Dale, S., Wilson, W. A., Edelman, A. M., and Hardie, G. (1995) FEBS Lett. 361, 191-195) using partially purified enzyme and variants of the peptide AMARAASAAALARRR, it was proposed that the AMPK preferred the phosphorylation site motif Phi(X, beta)XXS/TXXXPhi (Phi, hydrophobic; beta, basic). In good AMPK alpha1 peptide substrates, a hydrophobic residue at the P-5 position is conserved but not at the P+4 position. Oxidation of the Met residues in the rat acetyl-CoA carboxylase (73-87)A77R86-87 peptide increased the Km 6-fold and reduced the Vmax to 4% of the reduced peptide.[1]


  1. Isoform-specific purification and substrate specificity of the 5'-AMP-activated protein kinase. Michell, B.J., Stapleton, D., Mitchelhill, K.I., House, C.M., Katsis, F., Witters, L.A., Kemp, B.E. J. Biol. Chem. (1996) [Pubmed]
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