Research article

Identification and characterization of a novel sucrose-non-fermenting protein kinase/AMP-activated protein kinase-related protein kinase, SNARK

Diana L. LEFEBVRE, Yahong BAI, Nazanin SHAHMOLKY, Monika SHARMA, Raymond POON, Daniel J. DRUCKER, Cheryl F. ROSEN


Subtraction hybridization after the exposure of keratinocytes to ultraviolet radiation identified a differentially expressed cDNA that encodes a protein of 630 amino acid residues possessing significant similarity to the catalytic domain of the sucrose-non-fermenting protein kinase (SNF1)/AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) family of serine/threonine protein kinases. Northern blotting and reverse-transcriptase-mediated PCR demonstrated that mRNA transcripts for the SNF1/AMPK-related kinase (SNARK) were widely expressed in rodent tissues. The SNARK gene was localized to human chromosome 1q32 by fluorescent in situ hybridization. SNARK was translated in vitro to yield a single protein band of approx. 76kDa; Western analysis of transfected baby hamster kidney (BHK) cells detected two SNARK-immunoreactive bands of approx. 76-80kDa. SNARK was capable of autophosphorylation in vitro; immunoprecipitated SNARK exhibited phosphotransferase activity with the synthetic peptide substrate HMRSAMSGLHLVKRR (SAMS) as a kinase substrate. SNARK activity was significantly increased by AMP and 5-amino-4-imidazolecarboxamide riboside (AICAriboside) in rat keratinocyte cells, implying that SNARK might be activated by an AMPK kinase-dependent pathway. Furthermore, glucose deprivation increased SNARK activity 3-fold in BHK fibroblasts. These findings identify SNARK as a glucose- and AICAriboside-regulated member of the AMPK-related gene family that represents a new candidate mediator of the cellular response to metabolic stress.

  • AICAriboside
  • glucose
  • metabolism
  • signal transduction
  • stress