AMPK: A contextual oncogene or tumor suppressor?

Jiyong Liang, Gordon B. Mills

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

206 Scopus citations


The AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) functions to monitor and maintain energy homeostasis at the cellular and organism level. AMPKwas perceived historically primarily as a component of the LKB1/STK11 tumor suppressor (LKB1 mutations cause the Peutz-Jegher cancer predisposition syndrome) cascade upstream of the TSC1/2/mTOR pathway and thus likely to be a tumor suppressor. However, AMPK has recently been shown to promote cancer cell survival in the face of extrinsic and intrinsic stressors including bioenergetic, growth factor, and oncogene stress compatible with studies showing that AMPKis required for oncogenic transformation. Thus, whether AMPK acts as a bona fide tumor suppressor or a contextual oncogene and, of particular importance, whether AMPKshould be targeted for activation or inhibition during cancer therapy, is controversial and requires clarification. We aim to initiate discussions of these critical questions by reviewing the role of AMPK with an emphasis on cancer cell adaptation to microenvironment stress and therapeutic intervention. Cancer Res; 73(10); 2929-35.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2929-2935
Number of pages7
JournalCancer Research
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 15 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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