KSR2 is an essential regulator of AMP kinase, energy expenditure, and insulin sensitivity.
Kinase suppressors of Ras 1 and 2 (KSR1 and KSR2) function as molecular scaffolds to potently regulate the MAP kinases ERK1/2 and affect multiple cell fates. Here we show that KSR2 interacts with and modulates the activity of AMPK. KSR2 regulates AMPK-dependent glucose uptake and fatty acid oxidation in mouse embryonic fibroblasts and glycolysis in a neuronal cell line. Disruption of KSR2 in vivo impairs AMPK-regulated processes affecting fatty acid oxidation and thermogenesis to cause obesity. Despite their increased adiposity, ksr2(-/-) mice are hypophagic and hyperactive but expend less energy than wild-type mice. In addition, hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp studies reveal that ksr2(-/-) mice are profoundly insulin resistant. The expression of genes mediating oxidative phosphorylation is also downregulated in the adipose tissue of ksr2(-/-) mice. These data demonstrate that ksr2(-/-) mice are highly efficient in conserving energy, revealing a novel role for KSR2 in AMPK-mediated regulation of energy metabolism.