Specific Sirt1 Activator-mediated Improvement in Glucose Homeostasis Requires Sirt1-Independent Activation of AMPK

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Sung-jun Park
  • Faiyaz Ahmad
  • Jee-hyun Um
  • Alexandra L. Brown
  • Xihui Xu
  • Hyeog Kang
  • Hengming Ke
  • Xuesong Feng
  • James Ryall
  • Simon Schenk
  • Myung K. Kim
  • Vittorio Sartorelli
  • Jay H. Chung


The specific Sirt1 activator SRT1720 increases mitochondrial function in skeletal muscle, presumably by activating Sirt1. However, Sirt1 gain of function does not increase mitochondrial function, which raises a question about the central role of Sirt1 in SRT1720 action. Moreover, it is believed that the metabolic effects of SRT1720 occur independently of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), an important metabolic regulator that increases mitochondrial function. Here, we show that SRT1720 activates AMPK in a Sirt1-independent manner and SRT1720 activates AMPK by inhibiting a cAMP degrading phosphodiesterase (PDE) in a competitive manner. Inhibiting the cAMP effector protein Epac prevents SRT1720 from activating AMPK or Sirt1 in myotubes. Moreover, SRT1720 does not increase mitochondrial function or improve glucose tolerance in AMPKα2 knockout mice. Interestingly, weight loss induced by SRT1720 is not sufficient to improve glucose tolerance. Therefore, contrary to current belief, the metabolic effects produced by SRT1720 require AMPK, which can be activated independently of Sirt1.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-138
Early online date14 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017


  • SRT1720 , Phosphodiesterases , cAMP , AMPK , Sirt1 , Epac , Type 2 diabetes , Obesity , Aging , Mitochondria

Sustainable Development Goals