Silent information regulator 2 (Sir2) proteins, or sirtuins, are protein deacetylases/mono-ADP-ribosyltransferases found in organisms ranging from bacteria to humans. Their dependence on nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) links their activity to cellular metabolic status. In bacteria, the sirtuin CobB regulates the metabolic enzyme acetyl-coenzyme A (acetyl-CoA) synthetase. The earliest function of sirtuins therefore may have been regulation of cellular metabolism in response to nutrient availability. Recent findings support the idea that sirtuins play a pivotal role in metabolic control in higher organisms, including mammals. This review surveys evidence for an emerging role of sirtuins as regulators of metabolism in mammals.