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The AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) regulates cellular and whole-body energy balance in response to changes in adenylate charge and hormonal signals. Activation of AMPK in tissues such as skeletal muscle and liver reverses many of the metabolic defects associated with obesity and Type 2 diabetes. Here we report a bi-quinoline (JJO-1) that allosterically activates all AMPK αβγ isoforms in vitro except complexes containing the γ3 subunit. JJO-1 does not directly activate the autoinhibited α subunit kinase domain and differs among other known direct activators of AMPK in that allosteric activation occurs only at low ATP concentrations, and is not influenced by either mutation of the γ subunit adenylate-nucleotide binding sites or deletion of the β subunit carbohydrate-binding module. Our findings indicate that AMPK has multiple modes of allosteric activation that may be exploited to design isoform-specific activators as potential therapeutics for metabolic diseases.

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Journal Article

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