Relationship between 5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide-ribotide and AMP-activated protein kinase activity in the perfused mouse heart

Li Zhang, Markus Frederich, Huamei He, James A Balschi
American Journal of Physiology. Heart and Circulatory Physiology 2006, 290 (3): H1235-43
AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is a cellular energy sensor whose activity responds to AMP concentration ([AMP]). An agent that activates AMPK in cells is 5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide-1-riboside (AICA-riboside). Phosphorylated AICA-riboside or AICA-ribotide (ZMP) is an AMP analog. It is generally assumed that ZMP accumulation does not alter [AMP]. Additionally, the effect of AICA-riboside on AMPK activity of the heart is uncertain. Two hypotheses were tested in the isolated mouse heart: 1) sufficient ZMP concentration ([ZMP]) forms to increase AMPK activity, and 2) [ZMP] accumulation increases [AMP]. Perfusion of isolated mouse hearts with Krebs-Henseleit buffer containing 0.15-2 mM AICA-riboside concentration resulted in [ZMP] of 2-8 mM. ZMP accumulation reduced phosphocreatine concentration, which increased cytosolic [AMP]. In hearts with [ZMP] less than approximately 3 mM, in vivo AMPK allosteric activity effects of ZMP were observed; AMPK phosphorylation and [AMP] were not increased. With [ZMP] between 3 and 5 mM, in vitro AMPK activity and phosphorylation increased with unchanged [AMP]. This occurred in hearts perfused with 0.25 mM AICA-riboside for 48 min and 0.5 mM AICA-riboside for 24 min. The [ZMP] resulting in 50% AMPK activity (covalent phosphorylation of AMPK) was 4.1 +/- 0.6 mM. Hearts with [ZMP] >5 mM displayed increased [AMP] and AMPK activity that was not different from hearts with similar [AMP] with no [ZMP]; the half-maximal activity of AMP was 5.6 +/- 1.6 microM. Thus, in mouse hearts, AICA-riboside was metabolized to [ZMP] adequately to increase AMPK activity. Higher [ZMP] also increased cytosolic [AMP], which affects AMPK activity.

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