Malonyl-CoA decarboxylase (MCD) is differentially regulated in subcellular compartments by 5′AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK): Studies using H9c2 cells overexpressing MCD and AMPK by adenoviral gene transfer technique

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Malonyl-CoA, a potent inhibitor of carnitine pamitoyl transferase-I (CPT-I), plays a pivotal role in fuel selection in cardiac muscle. Malonyl-CoA decarboxylase (MCD) catalyzes the degradation of malonyl-CoA, removes a potent allosteric inhibition on CPT-I and thereby increases fatty acid oxidation in the heart. Although MCD has several Ser/Thr phosphorylation sites, whether it is regulated by AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) has been controversial. We therefore overexpressed MCD (Ad.MCD) and constitutively active AMPK (Ad.CA-AMPK) in H9c2 cells, using an adenoviral gene delivery approach in order to examine if MCD is regulated by AMPK. Cells infected with Ad.CA-AMPK demonstrated a fourfold increase in AMPK activity as compared with control cells expressing green fluorescent protein (Ad.GFP). MCD activity increased 40- to 50-fold in Ad.MCD + Ad.GFP cells when compared with Ad.GFP control. Co-expressing AMPK with MCD further augmented MCD expression and activity in Ad.MCD + Ad.CA-AMPK cells compared with the Ad.MCD + Ad.GFP control. Subcellular fractionation further revealed that 54.7 kDa isoform of MCD expression was significantly higher in cytosolic fractions of Ad.MCD + Ad.CA-AMPK cells than of the Ad.MCD +Ad.GFP control. However, the MCD activities in cytosolic fractions were not different between the two groups. Interestingly, in the mitochondrial fractions, MCD activity significantly increased in Ad.MCD + Ad.CA-AMPK cells when compared with Ad.MCD + Ad.GFP cells. Using phosphoserine and phosphothreonine antibodies, no phosphorylation of MCD by AMPK was observed. The increase in MCD activity in mitochondria-rich fractions of Ad.MCD + Ad.CA-AMPK cells was accompanied by an increase in the level of the 50.7 kDa isoform of MCD protein in the mitochondria. This differential regulation of MCD expression and activity in the mitochondria by AMPK may potentially regulate malonyl-CoA levels at sites nearby CPT-I on the mitochondria.

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