Reciprocal regulation of AMP-activated protein kinase and phospholipase D [Metabolism]

January 29th, 2015 by Mukhopadhyay, S., Saqcens, M., Chatterjee, A., Garcia, A., Frias, M. A., Foster, D. A.

AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), a critical sensor of energy sufficiency, acts as central metabolic switch in cellular metabolism. Once activated by low energy status, AMPK phosphorylates key regulatory substrates and turns off anabolic biosynthetic pathways. In contrast, mTOR (the mammalian/mechanistic target of rapamycin) is active when there are sufficient nutrients for anabolic reactions. A critical factor regulating mTOR is phosphatidic acid (PA) a central metabolite of membrane lipid biosynthesis and the product of the phospholipase D (PLD)-catalyzed hydrolysis of phosphatidylcholine. PLD is downstream target of the GTPase Rheb, which is turned off in response to AMPK via the tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC). While many studies have linked AMPK with mTOR very little is known about the connection between AMPK and PLD. In this report, we provide evidence for reciprocal regulation of PLD by AMPK and regulation of AMPK by PLD and PA. Suppression of AMPK activity led to an increase in PLD activity; and conversely, activation of AMPK suppressed PLD activity. Suppression of PLD activity resulted in elevated AMPK activity. Exogenously supplied PA abolished the inhibitory effects of elevated AMPK activity on mTOR signaling. In contrast, exogenously supplied PA could not overcome the effect AMPK activation if either mTOR or Raptor was suppressed, indicating that the inhibitory effects of PLD and PA on AMPK activity were mediated by mTOR. These data suggest a reciprocal feedback mechanism involving AMPK and the PLD/mTOR signaling node in cancer cells with therapeutic implications.