Control of insulin granule dynamics by AMPK dependent KLC1 phosphorylation

Angela McDonald, Sarah Fogarty, Isabelle Leclerc, Elaine V. Hill, D. Grahame Hardie, Guy A. Rutter

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    14 Citations (Scopus)


    The movement of insulin granules along microtubules, driven by kinesin-1/Kif5B, is essential for glucose-stimulated insulin secretion from pancreatic beta-cells. 5'AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is a heterotrimeric serine/threonine kinase, which is activated in beta-cells at low glucose concentrations, but inhibited as glucose levels increase. AMPK activation blocks glucose-stimulated recruitment of secretory granules to the cell surface and insulin secretion, suggesting motor proteins may be targets for this kinase. Whilst both kinesin-1/Kif5B and kinesin light chain-1 (KLC1) contain consensus AMPK phosphorylation sites only a peptide corresponding to Ser520 in mouse KLC1 and purified recombinant GST-KLC1 were phosphorylated by purified AMPK in vitro. To test the hypothesis that phosphorylation at this site may modulate kinesin1-mediated granule movement, we developed a novel approach to study the dynamics of the granules within a cell in three dimensions using Nokigawa spinning disc confocal microscopy. This cell-wide approach revealed that the number of longer excursions (>10 mu m) increased significantly in response to elevated glucose concentration (30 vs. 3 mM) in control MIN6 cells. However, similar changes were seen in cells overexpressing wild-type KLC1, phosphomimetic (S517/520D) or non-phosphorylatable (S517/520A) mutants of KLC1. Moreover, no evidence for a change in the phosphorylation state of KLC1 at Ser520 after AMPK activation was obtained using an anti-phospho Ser520-specific antibody. Thus, changes in the phosphorylation state of KLC1 at Ser517/520 are unlikely to affect motor function. In conclusion, we describe a new three-dimensional cell wide approach for the analysis of secretory granule dynamics in living beta-cells.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)198-209
    Number of pages12
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


    • AMPK
    • kinesin
    • insulin granule dynamics
    • 4D confocal imaging


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