[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: 5'-AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is a metabolic fuel sensor that monitors cellular energy charge, while the vasculature is important for maintaining cellular energy homeostasis. Mice with muscle-specific inactive AMPK (AMPK DN) were used to investigate if AMPK regulates skeletal muscle capillarization and the angiogenic responses to exercise. Two hours of the AMP analogue AICAR (1.0 g kg(-1)) or systemic hypoxia (6% O(2)) increased vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) mRNA in wild-type (WT), but not in AMPK DN mice. In contrast, the increase in VEGF mRNA with acute exercise (1 h at 20 m min(-1), 10% gradient) was greater in AMPK DN compared to WT mice. Nuclear run-on assay demonstrated that exercise increased VEGF transcription, while hypoxia decreased VEGF transcription. There was no difference in VEGF transcription between WT and AMPK DN. There was a strong correlation between VEGF transcription and VEGF mRNA at rest and with exercise. Resting capillarization was lower in AMPK DN compared to WT. Wheel running (28 days) increased capillarization and this response was AMPK independent. Significant correlations between VEGF protein and muscle capillarization are consistent with VEGF being an important determinant of skeletal muscle capillarization. These data are to our knowledge the first to demonstrate in skeletal muscle in vivo that: (1) AMPK is necessary for hypoxia-induced VEGF mRNA stabilization, (2) acute exercise increases VEGF transcription, (3) inhibition of AMPK augments the VEGF mRNA response to acute exercise, and (4) AMPK regulates basal VEGF expression and capillarization, but is not necessary for exercise-induced angiogenesis.
The Journal of Physiology 11/2008; 586(Pt 24):6021-35. · 4.38 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: As the primary glucose transporter in skeletal muscle, GLUT4 is an important factor in the regulation of blood glucose. We previously reported that stimulation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) with 5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide-1-beta-d-ribofuranoside (AICAR) increased GLUT4 expression in muscle. GLUT4 enhancer factor (GEF) and myocyte enhancer factor 2 (MEF2) have been shown to be important for normal GLUT4 expression because deletion or truncation of the consensus sequences on the promoter causes depressed GLUT4 mRNA expression. This led to the current study to investigate possible roles for GEF and MEF2 in mediating the activation of GLUT4 gene transcription in response to AMPK. Here we show that, although AMPK does not appear to phosphorylate MEF2A, AMPK directly phosphorylates the GEF protein in vitro. MEF2 and GEF are activated in response to AMPK as we observed translocation of both to the nucleus after AICAR treatment. Nuclear MEF2 protein content was increased after 2 h, and GEF protein was increased in the nucleus 1 and 2 h post-AICAR treatment. Last, GEF and MEF2 increase in binding to the GLUT4 promoter within 2 h after AICAR treatment. Thus we conclude that GEF and MEF2 mediate the AMPK-induced increase in transcription of skeletal muscle GLUT4. AMPK can phosphorylate GEF and in response to AICAR, GEF, and MEF2 translocate to the nucleus and have increased binding to the GLUT4 promoter.
AJP Endocrinology and Metabolism 01/2006; 289(6):E1071-6. · 4.09 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An acute bout of exercise increases muscle GLUT4 mRNA in mice, and denervation decreases GLUT4 mRNA. AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activity in skeletal muscle is also increased by exercise, and GLUT4 mRNA is increased in mouse skeletal muscle after treatment with AMPK activator 5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide-1-beta-D-ribofuranoside(AICAR). These findings suggest that AMPK activation might be responsible for the increase in GLUT4 mRNA expression in response to exercise. To investigate the role of AMPK in GLUT4 regulation in response to exercise and denervation, transgenic mice with a mutated AMPK alpha-subunit (dominant negative; AMPK-DN) were studied. GLUT4 did not increase in AMPK-DN mice that were treated with AICAR, demonstrating that muscle AMPK is inactive. Exercise (two 3-h bouts of treadmill running separated by 1 h of rest) increased GLUT4 mRNA in both wild-type and AMPK-DN mice. Likewise, denervation decreased GLUT4 mRNA in both wild-type and AMPK-DN mice. GLUT4 mRNA was also increased by AICAR treatment in both the innervated and denervated muscles. These data demonstrate that AMPK is not required for the response of GLUT4 mRNA to exercise and denervation.
AJP Endocrinology and Metabolism 11/2004; 287(4):E739-43. · 4.09 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Glucose transport into muscle is important for the maintenance of normoglycemia. Thus, understanding mechanisms that regulate expression of GLUT4, the main glucose transporter in skeletal muscle, is important to identify targets for the treatment of diabetes. Exercise increases the expression of GLUT4 mRNA and protein, and we have been investigating the mechanisms involved. Transcription of the GLUT4 gene is transiently activated after an acute bout of exercise and GLUT4 protein can be increased as much as two- to threefold after a few days of repeated exercise bouts. Studies of the GLUT4 promoter have identified two sets of DNA sequences that are important for metabolic regulation and also for increased transcription of the gene in response to exercise. These DNA elements have been shown to bind the transcription factors myocyte enhancer factor 2 (MEF2) and GLUT4 enhancer factor (GEF). The mechanisms that activate these proteins remain one of the important areas of research in this field. Signals that link muscle contraction to the activation of transcription factors (MEF2, GEF) involved in increased expression of GLUT4 during exercise is another area needing further research. Two signals that show promise are changes in the energy charge (acting through AMP activated kinase [AMPK]) and changes in intracellular calcium (acting through calcineurin [a calcium-calmodulin activated phosphatase] and calcium-calmodulin activated kinase [CAMK]). There is good evidence that both increased AMPK activity and increased CAMK activity cause increased transcription of the GLUT4 gene. It remains to be demonstrated that exercise is acting through one or both of these mechanisms.
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 08/2004; 36(7):1202-6. · 4.46 Impact Factor