We previously reported the phosphoinositide 3-kinase-dependent activation of the 5'-AMP-activated kinase (AMPK) by peroxynitrite (ONOO-) and hypoxia-reoxygenation in cultured endothelial cells. Here we show the molecular mechanism of activation of this pathway. Exposure of bovine aortic endothelial cells to ONOO- significantly increased the phosphorylation of both Thr172 of AMPK and Ser1179 of endothelial nitric-oxide synthase, a known downstream enzyme of AMPK. In addition, activation of AMPK by ONOO- was accompanied by increased phosphorylation of protein kinase Czeta (PKCzeta) (Thr410/403) and translocation of cytosolic PKCzeta into the membrane. Further, inhibition of PKCzeta abrogated ONOO- -induced AMPK-Thr172 phosphorylation as that of endothelial nitric-oxide synthase. Furthermore, overexpression of a constitutively active PKCzeta mutant enhanced the phosphorylation of AMPK-Thr172, suggesting that PKCzeta is upstream of AMPK activation. In contrast, ONOO- activated PKCzeta in LKB1-deficient HeLa-S3 but affected neither AMPK-Thr172 nor AMPK activity. These data suggest that LKB1 is required for PKCzeta-enhanced AMPK activation. In vitro, recombinant PKCzeta phosphorylated LKB1 at Ser428, resulting in phosphorylation of AMPK at Thr172. Further, direct mutation of Ser428 of LKB1 into alanine, like the kinase-inactive LKB1 mutant, abolished ONOO- -induced AMPK activation. In several cell types originating from human, rat, and mouse, inhibition of PKCzeta significantly attenuated the phosphorylation of both LKB1-Ser428 and AMPK-Thr172 that were enhanced by ONOO-. Taken together, we conclude that PKCzeta can regulate AMPK activity by increasing the Ser428 phosphorylation of LKB1, resulting in association of LKB1 with AMPK and consequent AMPK Thr172 phosphorylation by LKB1.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/mei_cui/17/