ABSTRACT: AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) has a broad role in the regulation of glucose and lipid metabolism making it a promising target in the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus. We therefore sought to characterise for the first time the effects of chronic AMPK activation on skeletal muscle carbohydrate metabolism in carriers of the rare gain-of-function mutation of the gene encoding AMPKgamma(3) subunit, PRKAG3 R225W.
Aspects of fuel metabolism were studied in vitro in myocytes isolated from vastus lateralis of PRKAG3 R225W carriers and matched control participants. In vivo, muscular strength and fatigue were evaluated by isokinetic dynamometer and surface electromyography, respectively. Glucose uptake in exercising quadriceps was determined using [(18)F]fluorodeoxyglucose and positron emission tomography.
Myotubes from PRKAG3 R225W carriers had threefold higher mitochondrial content (p < 0.01) and oxidative capacity, higher leak-dependent respiration (1.6-fold, p < 0.05), higher basal glucose uptake (twofold, p < 0.01) and higher glycogen synthesis rates (twofold, p < 0.05) than control myotubes. They also had higher levels of intracellular glycogen (p < 0.01) and a trend for lower intramuscular triacylglycerol stores. R225W carriers showed remarkable resistance to muscular fatigue and a trend for increased glucose uptake in exercising muscle in vivo.
Through the enhancement of skeletal muscle glucose uptake and increased mitochondrial content, the R225W mutation may significantly enhance exercise performance. These findings are also consistent with the hypothesis that the gamma(3) subunit of AMPK is a promising tissue-specific target for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus, a condition in which glucose uptake and mitochondrial function are impaired.
Diabetologia 09/2010; 53(9):1986-97. · 6.81 Impact Factor