Catalytic isoforms of AMP-activated protein kinase differentially regulate IMPDH activity and photoreceptor neuron function

Tae Jun Lee, Yo Sasaki, Philip A. Ruzycki, Norimitsu Ban, Joseph B. Lin, Hung Ting Wu, Andrea Santeford, Rajendra S. Apte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) plays a crucial role in maintaining ATP homeostasis in photoreceptor neurons. AMPK is a heterotrimeric protein consisting of α, β, and γ subunits. The independent functions of the 2 isoforms of the catalytic α subunit, PRKAA1 and PRKAA2, are uncharacterized in specialized neurons, such as photoreceptors. Here, we demonstrate in mice that rod photoreceptors lacking PRKAA2, but not PRKAA1, showed altered levels of cGMP, GTP, and ATP, suggesting isoform-specific regulation of photoreceptor metabolism. Furthermore, PRKAA2-deficient mice displayed visual functional deficits on electroretinography and photoreceptor outer segment structural abnormalities on transmission electron microscopy consistent with neuronal dysfunction, but not neurodegeneration. Phosphoproteomics identified inosine monophosphate dehydrogenase (IMPDH) as a molecular driver of PRKAA2-specific photoreceptor dysfunction, and inhibition of IMPDH improved visual function in Prkaa2 rod photoreceptor–knockout mice. These findings highlight a therapeutically targetable PRKAA2 isoform–specific function of AMPK in regulating photoreceptor metabolism and function through a potentially previously uncharacterized mechanism affecting IMPDH activity.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere173707
JournalJCI Insight
Volume9
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2024

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