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Review ARTICLE

Front. Plant Sci., 20 May 2014 | http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2014.00190

Mechanisms of regulation of SNF1/AMPK/SnRK1 protein kinases

Pierre Crozet1†, Leonor Margalha1†, Ana Confraria1, Américo Rodrigues1,2, Cláudia Martinho1, Mattia Adamo1, Carlos A. Elias1 and Elena Baena-González1*
  • 1Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, Oeiras, Portugal
  • 2Escola Superior de Turismo e Tecnologia do Mar de Peniche, Instituto Politécnico de Leiria, Peniche, Portugal

The SNF1 (sucrose non-fermenting 1)-related protein kinases 1 (SnRKs1) are the plant orthologs of the budding yeast SNF1 and mammalian AMPK (AMP-activated protein kinase). These evolutionarily conserved kinases are metabolic sensors that undergo activation in response to declining energy levels. Upon activation, SNF1/AMPK/SnRK1 kinases trigger a vast transcriptional and metabolic reprograming that restores energy homeostasis and promotes tolerance to adverse conditions, partly through an induction of catabolic processes and a general repression of anabolism. These kinases typically function as a heterotrimeric complex composed of two regulatory subunits, β and γ, and an α-catalytic subunit, which requires phosphorylation of a conserved activation loop residue for activity. Additionally, SNF1/AMPK/SnRK1 kinases are controlled by multiple mechanisms that have an impact on kinase activity, stability, and/or subcellular localization. Here we will review current knowledge on the regulation of SNF1/AMPK/SnRK1 by upstream components, post-translational modifications, various metabolites, hormones, and others, in an attempt to highlight both the commonalities of these essential eukaryotic kinases and the divergences that have evolved to cope with the particularities of each one of these systems.

Keywords: SnRK1, SNF1, AMPK, stress, energy signaling, Arabidopsis, kinase regulation

Citation: Crozet P, Margalha L, Confraria A, Rodrigues A, Martinho C, Adamo M, Elias CA and Baena-González E (2014) Mechanisms of regulation of SNF1/AMPK/SnRK1 protein kinases. Front. Plant Sci. 5:190. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2014.00190

Received: 31 January 2014; paper pending published: 19 March 2014;
Accepted: 22 April 2014; Published online: 20 May 2014.

Edited by:

Matthew Paul, Rothamsted Research, UK

Reviewed by:

Vasileios Fotopoulos, Cyprus University of Technology, Cyprus
Susan Gibson, University of Minnesota, USA
Patricia Coello, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico

Copyright © 2014 Crozet, Margalha, Confraria, Rodrigues, Martinho, Adamo, Elias and Baena-González. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

*Correspondence: Elena Baena-González, Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, Rua da Quinta Grande 6, 2780-156 Oeiras, Portugal e-mail: ebaena@igc.gulbenkian.pt

Pierre Crozet and Leonor Margalha have contributed equally to this work.