AMP-Activated Protein Kinase Signalling in Cancer and Cardiac Hypertrophy

Yulia Lipovka and John P Konhilas

The AMP-protein kinase (AMPK) pathway is very versatile as it regulates cellular energetic homeostasis in many different tissue types. An appreciation for the importance of AMPK signalling and regulation in cardiovascular and tumor biology is increasing. Recently, a link has been established between anti-cancer therapy and susceptibility to cardiac disease. It has been shown that some anti-cancer drugs lead to an increased risk of cardiac disease, underlined by de-regulation of AMPK signalling. This review explores the AMPK signalling axis in both cardiac and tumor metabolism. We then examine off-target AMPK inhibition by cancer drugs and how this may translate into increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Finally, we discuss the implication of deregulated AMPK signalling during different stages of cardiac hypertrophy. Better understanding of the molecular pathways behind pathological processes will lead to the development of more effective therapeutics for cancer and cardiovascular diseases.