A novel AMPK-dependent FoxO3A-SIRT3 intramitochondrial complex sensing glucose levels

Alessia Peserico, Fulvio Chiacchiera, Valentina Grossi, Antonio Matrone, Dominga Latorre, Marta Simonatto, Aurora Fusella, James G. Ryall, Lydia W S Finley, Marcia C. Haigis, Gaetano Villani, Pier Lorenzo Puri, Vittorio Sartorelli, Cristiano Simone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Reduction of nutrient intake without malnutrition positively influences lifespan and healthspan from yeast to mice and exerts some beneficial effects also in humans. The AMPK-FoxO axis is one of the evolutionarily conserved nutrient-sensing pathways, and the FOXO3A locus is associated with human longevity. Interestingly, FoxO3A has been reported to be also a mitochondrial protein in mammalian cells and tissues. Here we report that glucose restriction triggers FoxO3A accumulation into mitochondria of fibroblasts and skeletal myotubes in an AMPK-dependent manner. A low-glucose regimen induces the formation of a protein complex containing FoxO3A, SIRT3, and mitochondrial RNA polymerase (mtRNAPol) at mitochondrial DNA-regulatory regions causing activation of the mitochondrial genome and a subsequent increase in mitochondrial respiration. Consistently, mitochondrial transcription increases in skeletal muscle of fasted mice, with a mitochondrial DNA-bound FoxO3A/SIRT3/mtRNAPol complex detectable also in vivo. Our results unveil a mitochondrial arm of the AMPK-FoxO3A axis acting as a recovery mechanism to sustain energy metabolism upon nutrient restriction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2015-2029
Number of pages15
JournalCellular and Molecular Life Sciences
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013



  • AMPK
  • FoxO3A
  • Glucose restriction
  • SIRT3

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

Cite this

Peserico, A., Chiacchiera, F., Grossi, V., Matrone, A., Latorre, D., Simonatto, M., Fusella, A., Ryall, J. G., Finley, L. W. S., Haigis, M. C., Villani, G., Puri, P. L., Sartorelli, V., & Simone, C. (2013). A novel AMPK-dependent FoxO3A-SIRT3 intramitochondrial complex sensing glucose levels. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences, 70(11), 2015-2029. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00018-012-1244-6