Transcriptional targets of sirtuins in the coordination of mammalian physiology

Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2008 Jun;20(3):303-9. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2008 May 28.


Sirtuins (Sirts) compose a family of NAD(+)-dependent deacetylases and/or ADP-ribosyltransferases, which have been implicated in aging, metabolism, and tolerance to oxidative stress. Many of the biological processes regulated by Sirts result from the adaptation of complex gene-expression programs to the energetic state of the cell, sensed through NAD(+) levels. To that respect, Sirts, and particularly the founding member of the family Sirt1, have emerged as important regulators of transcription, which they modulate both positively and negatively by targeting histones and transcriptional complex regulatory proteins. This review will focus on recent advances that have started deciphering how mammalian Sirts regulate transcriptional networks and thereby control physiology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gene Expression Regulation / genetics*
  • Histones / genetics
  • Histones / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Mammals / physiology
  • NAD / metabolism
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational / genetics
  • RNA Processing, Post-Transcriptional / genetics
  • Repressor Proteins / genetics
  • Repressor Proteins / metabolism
  • Sirtuins / genetics*
  • Sirtuins / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Transcription, Genetic / genetics*


  • Histones
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • NAD
  • Sirtuins