Compounds of Plant Origin as AMP-Activated Protein Kinase Activators
Adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is considered as the main regulator of energy metabolism; it maintains energy homeostasis, both at cellular and whole-body levels. In stressful conditions, when an increase in the adenosine monophosphate (AMP) level and decrease in the adenosine triphosphate (ATP) level is observed, the activation of AMPK leads to a rapid switching to reserve resources. Small molecule plant compounds are able to regulate the activity of proteins involved in the most important signaling pathways. This chapter briefly summarizes the data on plant compounds, which are able to activate AMPK. The main function of AMPK is to maintain the energy metabolism. Anticancer activity is typical for many plant stilbenes. Plant activators of AMPK reflect objectively the overall picture of biologically active natural compounds. In most cases, plant AMPK activators are indirect activators, which as a rule trigger numerous and complex signaling cascades.