* To whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received September 17, 2008; Revision received January 16, 2009
Sirtuins were originally defined as a family of oxidized nicotinamide adenine nucleotide (NAD+)-dependent enzymes that deacetylate lysine residues on various proteins. The sirtuins are remarkably conserved throughout evolution from archae to eukaryotes. They were named after their homology to the Saccharomyces cerevisiae gene silent information regulator 2 (Sir2). The mammalian sirtuins, SIRT1-7, are implicated in a variety of cellular functions ranging from gene silencing, control of the cell cycle and apoptosis, and energy homeostasis. As SIRT1 is a nuclear protein and is the mammalian homolog most highly related to Sir2, it has been the focus of a large number of recent studies. Here we review some of the current data related to SIRT1 and discuss its mode of action and biological role in cellular and organismal models.
KEY WORDS: SIRT1, metabolism, calorie restriction, apoptosis