AMP-activated protein kinase supports the NGF-induced viability of human HeLa cells to glucose starvation

State Key Laboratory of Genetic Engineering, Institute of Genetics, School of Life Science, Fudan University, 220 Handan Road, 200433 Shanghai, People's Republic of China.
Molecular Biology Reports (Impact Factor: 1.96). 09/2009; 37(6):2593-8. DOI: 10.1007/s11033-009-9780-3
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT As an important cellular energy regulation kinase, AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) has been demonstrated as a key molecule in the development of tolerance to nutrient starvation. Activation of AMPK includes the phosphorylation of Thr172 of the alpha-subunit. Nerve growth factor (NGF) was originally isolated for its ability to stimulate both survival and differentiation in peripheral neurons, but many investigations have shown that the NGF also plays an important role in survival, growth and invasion of many human cancers. In this study, we used CCK-8 cell viability assay to find that NGF could facilitate the viability of HeLa cells following glucose deprivation while not in glucose-normal control groups. This effect of NGF-induced viability promotion to glucose starvation can be suppressed by Compound C, a specific inhibitor of AMPK. Meanwhile, western blot analysis showed that AMPKalpha1/alpha2 Thr172 phosphorylation level in HeLa cells was up-regulated after NGF treatment under glucose starvation, and Compound C was able to reduce the AMPKalpha1/alpha2 Thr172 phosphorylation level which was up-regulated by NGF in HeLa cells. Taken together, these results indicate that AMP-activated protein kinase supports the NGF-induced viability of human HeLa cells to glucose starvation.

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