Synphilin-1 interacts with AMPK and increases AMPK phosphorylation

Tianxia Li, Jingnan Liu, Gongbo Guo, Bo Ning, Xueping Li, Guangjing Zhu, Dejun Yang, Timothy H. Moran, Wanli W. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


A role for the cytoplasmic protein synphilin-1 in regulating energy balance has been demonstrated recently. Expression of synphilin-1 increases ATP levels in cultured cells. However, the mechanism by which synphilin-1 alters cellular energy status is unknown. Here, we used cell models and biochemical approaches to investigate the cellular functions of synphilin-1 on the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) signaling pathway, which may affect energy balance. Overexpression of synphilin-1 increased AMPK phosphorylation (activation). Moreover, synphilin-1 interacted with AMPK by co-immunoprecipitation and GST (glutathione S-transferase) pull-down assays. Knockdown of synphilin-1 reduced AMPK phosphorylation. Overexpression of synphilin-1 also altered AMPK downstream signaling, i.e., a decrease in acetyl CoA carboxylase (ACC) phosphorylation, and an increase in p70S6K phosphorylation. Treatment of compound C (an AMPK inhibitor) reduced synphilin-1 binding with AMPK. In addition, compound C diminished synphilin-1-induced AMPK phosphorylation, and the increase in cellular ATP (adenosine triphosphate) levels. Our results demonstrated that synphilin-1 couples with AMPK, and they exert mutual effects on each other to regulate cellular energy status. These findings not only identify novel cellular actions of synphilin-1, but also provide new insights into the roles of synphilin-1 in regulating energy currency, ATP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4352
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 2 2020


  • AMPK
  • ATP
  • Energy balance
  • Protein interaction
  • Synphilin-1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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