Structure of an AMPK complex in an inactive, ATP-bound state

Yan Yan, Somnath Mukherjee, Kaleeckal G. Harikumar, Timothy S. Strutzenberg, X. Edward Zhou, Kelly Suino-Powell, Ting Hai Xu, Ryan D. Sheldon, Jared Lamp, Joseph S. Brunzelle, Katarzyna Radziwon, Abigail Ellis, Scott J. Novick, Irving E. Vega, Russell G. Jones, Laurence J. Miller, H. Eric Xu, Patrick R. Griffin, Anthony A. Kossiakoff, Karsten Melcher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Adenosine monophosphate (AMP)-activated protein kinase (AMPK) regulates metabolism in response to the cellular energy states. Under energy stress, AMP stabilizes the active AMPK conformation, in which the kinase activation loop (AL) is protected from protein phosphatases, thus keeping the AL in its active, phosphorylated state. At low AMP:ATP (adenosine triphosphate) ratios, ATP inhibits AMPK by increasing AL dynamics and accessibility. We developed conformation-specific antibodies to trap ATPbound AMPK in a fully inactive, dynamic state and determined its structure at 3.5-angstrom resolution using cryo-electron microscopy. A 180° rotation and 100-angstrom displacement of the kinase domain fully exposes the AL. On the basis of the structure and supporting biophysical data, we propose a multistep mechanism explaining how adenine nucleotides and pharmacological agonists modulate AMPK activity by altering AL phosphorylation and accessibility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)413-419
Number of pages7
Issue number6553
StatePublished - Jul 23 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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