Neuroglobin Overexpression Inhibits AMPK Signaling and Promotes Cell Anabolism

Bin Cai, Wenjun Li, Xiao Ou Mao, Ali Winters, Myoung Gwi Ryou, Ran Liu, David A. Greenberg, Ning Wang, Kunlin Jin, Shao Hua Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Neuroglobin (Ngb) is a recently discovered globin with preferential localization to neurons. Growing evidence indicates that Ngb has distinct physiological functions separate from the oxygen storage and transport roles of other globins, such as hemoglobin and myoglobin. We found increased ATP production and decreased glycolysis in Ngb-overexpressing immortalized murine hippocampal cell line (HT-22), in parallel with inhibition of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) signaling and activation of acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC). In addition, lipid and glycogen content was increased in Ngb-overexpressing HT-22 cells. AMPK signaling was also inhibited in the brain and heart from Ngb-overexpressing transgenic mice. Although Ngb overexpression did not change glycogen content in whole brain, glycogen synthase was activated in cortical neurons of Ngb-overexpressing mouse brain and Ngb overexpression primary neurons. Moreover, lipid and glycogen content was increased in hearts derived from Ngb-overexpressing mice. These findings suggest that Ngb functions as a metabolic regulator and enhances cellular anabolism through the inhibition of AMPK signaling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1254-1265
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular Neurobiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2016


  • AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK)
  • Acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC)
  • Anabolism
  • Glycogen synthase
  • Metabolism
  • Neuroglobin


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