Intracellular pathogens are known to manipulate host cell regulatory pathways to establish
an optimal environment for their growth and survival. Pathogens employ active mechanisms to hijack host cell metabolism
and acquire existing nutrient and energy store. The role of the cellular energy sensor AMP-activated protein kinase
(AMPK) in the regulation of cellular energy homeostasis is well documented. Here, we highlight recent advances showing
the importance of AMPK signaling in pathogen-host interactions. Pathogens interact with AMPK by a variety of mechanisms
aimed at reprogramming host cell metabolism to their own benefit. Stimulation of AMPK activity provides an efficient
process to rapidly adapt pathogen metabolism to the major nutritional changes often encountered during the different
phases of infection. However, inhibition of AMPK is also used by pathogens to manipulate innate host response, indicating
that AMPK appears relevant to restriction of pathogen infection. We also document the effects of pharmacological
AMPK modulators on pathogen proliferation and survival. This review illustrates intricate pathogen-AMPK interactions
that may be exploited to the development of novel anti-pathogen therapies.
Keywords: AMPK-activated protein kinase, bacteria, energy metabolism, infectious diseases, parasites, pathogens, pharmacological
drugs, therapeutics, virus.
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