Enhanced amino acid utilization sustains growth of cells lacking Snf1/AMPK

Raffaele Nicastro, Farida Tripodi, Cinzia Guzzi, Veronica Reghellin, Sakda Khoomrung, Claudia Capusoni, Concetta Compagno, Cristina Airoldi, Jens Nielsen, Lilia Alberghina, Paola Coccetti

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The metabolism of proliferating cells shows common features even in evolutionary distant organisms such as mammals and yeasts, for example the requirement for anabolic processes under tight control of signaling pathways. Analysis of the rewiring of metabolism, which occurs following the dysregulation of signaling pathways, provides new knowledge about the mechanisms underlying cell proliferation.The key energy regulator in yeast Snf1 and its mammalian ortholog AMPK have earlier been shown to have similar functions at glucose limited conditions and here we show that they also have analogies when grown with glucose excess. We show that loss of Snf1 in cells growing in 2% glucose induces an extensive transcriptional reprogramming, enhances glycolytic activity, fatty acid accumulation and reliance on amino acid utilization for growth. Strikingly, we demonstrate that Snf1/AMPK-deficient cells remodel their metabolism fueling mitochondria and show glucose and amino acids addiction, a typical hallmark of cancer cells.
Original languageEnglish
JournalB B A - Molecular Cell Research
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)1615-1625
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  • Glucose
  • Budding yeast
  • Metabolism
  • Respiration
  • Gene chip


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