AMP-activated protein kinase control of fat metabolism in skeletal muscle
AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) has emerged as a key regulator of skeletal muscle fat metabolism. Because abnormalities in skeletal muscle metabolism contribute to a variety of clinical diseases and disorders, understanding AMPK’s role in the muscle is important. It was originally shown to stimulate fatty acid (FA) oxidation decades ago, and since then much research has been accomplished describing this role. In this brief review, we summarize much of these data, particularly in relation to changes in FA oxidation that occur during skeletal muscle exercise. Potential roles for AMPK exist in regulating FA transport into the mitochondria via interactions with acetyl-CoA carboxylase, malonyl-CoA decarboxylase, and perhaps FA transporter/CD36 (FAT/CD36). Likewise, AMPK may regulate transport of FAs into the cell through FAT/CD36. AMPK may also regulate capacity for FA oxidation by phosphorylation of transcription factors such as CREB or coactivators such as PGC-1α.