Investigating AMPK energy-sensing mechanisms underlying regulation of metabolism and exercise

Published May 4, 2018


Cellular energy-sensing protein kinases such as AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) are critical for maintaining cellular energy balance, whole-body metabolic homeostasis and stimulating the health benefits of exercise. AMPK plays a central role in metabolism and exercise by regulating an array of cellular substrates including rate-limiting enzymes of fatty acid, cholesterol and glycogen synthesis. Components of the AMPK signalling pathway therefore represent attractive therapeutic targets for preventing and/or treating obesity, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and associated chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer. We are currently using novel AMPK transgenic mouse models to investigate new energy-sensing mechanisms underlying AMPK’s fundamental roles in metabolism and exercise. This translational research project will help determine how the AMPK pathway can be targeted to maximise the health benefits of exercise and combat the metabolic disease epidemics affecting ageing populations in Australia and worldwide.


Dr Nolan Hoffman, ACU

Professor John Hawley, ACU

Professor Bruce Kemp, ACU and SVI

Dr Jamie Whitfield, ACU

Natalie Janzen, ACU

Collaborating Institutions

St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research (SVI)

Monash University

Deakin University



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