Activated LKB1 functions as a major tumor suppressor. The long-term activation of AMPK could have a major impact in the reduction of the incidence of cancer.

The image shown here highlights LKB1's many roles in addition to activating AMPK. LKB1 also regulates pathways involved in cell polarity and proliferation.

The activation of AMPK by LKB1 suppresses tumor growth and proliferation when energy and nutrient levels are scarce. Activation of AMPK-related kinase by LKB1 plays a vital role maintaining cell polarity thereby inhibiting inappropriate expansion of tumor cells.

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The LKB1-AMPK pathway: metabolism and growth control in tumor suppression  Nat Rev Cancer. 2009 August ; 9(8): 563–575. doi:10.1038/nrc2676. David B. Shackelford1 and Reuben J. Shaw1,2