Ppm1E is an in cellulo AMP-activated protein kinase phosphatase

Martin Voss, James Paterson, Ian R. Kelsall, Cristina Martin-Granados, C. James Hastie, Mark W. Peggie, Patricia T. W. Cohen (Lead / Corresponding author)

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    80 Citations (Scopus)


    Activation of 5'-AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is believed to be the mechanism by which the pharmaceuticals, metformin and phenformin, exert their beneficial effects for treatment of type 2 diabetes. These biguanide drugs elevate 5'-AMP, which allosterically activates AMPK and promotes phosphorylation on Thr172 of AMPK catalytic a subunits. Although kinases phosphorylating this site have been identified, phosphatases that dephosphorylate it are unknown. The aim of this study is to identify protein phosphatase(s) that dephosphorylate AMPK alpha-Thr172 within cells. Our initial data indicated that members of the protein phosphatase ce:sup>/ce:sup>/Mn2+-dependent (PPM) family and not those of the PPP family of protein serine/threonine phosphatases may be directly or indirectly inhibited by phenformin. Using antibodies raised to individual Ppm phosphatases that facilitated the assessment of their activities, phenformin stimulation of cells was found to decrease the ce:sup>/ce:sup>/Mn2+-dependent protein serine/threonine phosphatase activity of Ppm1E and Ppm1F. but not that attributable to other PPM family members, including Ppm1A/PP2C alpha. Depletion of Ppm1E, but not Ppm1A, using lentiviral-mediated stable gene silencing, increased AMPKa-Thr172 phosphorylation approximately three fold in HEK293 cells. In addition, incubation of cells with low concentrations of phenformin and depletion of Ppm1E increased AMPK phosphorylation synergistically. Ppm1E and the closely related Ppm1F interact weakly with AMPK and assays with lysates of cells stably depleted of Ppm1F suggests that this phosphatase contributes to dephosphorylation of AMPK. The data indicate that Ppm1E and probably PpM1F are in cellulo AMPK phosphatases and that Ppm1E is a potential anti-diabetic drug target (C) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)114-124
    Number of pages11
    JournalCellular Signalling
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011


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