Open Access


The role of 5′-adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) in skeletal muscle atrophy

Laboratory for Bone Metabolism, Xi’an Key Laboratory of Special Medicine and Health Engineering, Key Laboratory for Space Biosciences and Biotechnology, Research Center for Special Medicine and Health Systems Engineering, NPU-UAB Joint Laboratory for Bone Metabolism, School of Life Sciences, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi’an, 710072, China
* Corresponding Author: AIRONG QIAN. Email:
(This article belongs to this Special Issue: Biochemical and Epigenetics Changes in Health and Disease)

BIOCELL 2023, 47(2), 269-281.

Received 13 May 2022; Accepted 12 August 2022; Issue published 18 November 2022


As a key coordinator of metabolism, AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is vitally involved in skeletal muscle maintenance. AMPK exerts its cellular effects through its function as a serine/threonine protein kinase by regulating many downstream targets and plays important roles in the development and growth of skeletal muscle. AMPK is activated by phosphorylation and exerts its function as a kinase in many processes, including synthesis and degradation of proteins, mitochondrial biogenesis, glucose uptake, and fatty acid and cholesterol metabolism. Skeletal muscle atrophy is a result of various diseases or disorders and is characterized by a decrease in muscle mass. The pathogenesis and therapeutic strategies of skeletal muscle atrophy are still under investigation. In this review, we discuss the role of AMPK in skeletal muscle metabolism and atrophy. We also discuss targeting AMPK for skeletal muscle treatment, including exercise, AMPK activators including 5-amino-4-imidazolecarboxamide ribonucleoside and metformin, and low-level lasers. These studies show the important roles of AMPK in regulating muscle metabolism and function; thus, the treatment of skeletal muscle atrophy needs to take into account the roles of AMPK.


AMPK; Autophagy; Protein degradation; Protein synthesis; Skeletal muscle atrophy; Ubiquitin

Cite This Article

DANG, K., MUHAMMAD, H., GAO, Y., DENG, X., QIAN, A. (2023). The role of 5′-adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) in skeletal muscle atrophy. BIOCELL, 47(2), 269–281.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
  • 219


  • 106


  • 0


Share Link

WeChat scan