NAD(+), sirtuins, and cardiovascular disease

Curr Pharm Des. 2009;15(1):110-7. doi: 10.2174/138161209787185742.


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the most prevalent disease worldwide and there is intense interest in pharmaceutical approaches to reduce the burden of this chronic, aging-related condition. The sirtuin (SIRT) family of NAD(+)-dependent protein deacetylases and ADP-ribosyltransferases have emerged as exciting targets for CVD management that can impact the cardiovascular system both directly and indirectly, the latter by modulating whole body metabolism. SIRT1-4 regulate the activities of a variety of transcription factors, coregulators, and enzymes that improve metabolic control in adipose tissue, liver, skeletal muscle, and pancreas, particularly during obesity and aging. SIRT1 and 7 can control myocardial development and resist stress- and aging-associated myocardial dysfunction through the deacetylation of p53 and forkhead box O1 (FoxO1). By modulating the activity of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), FoxO1, and p53, and the expression of angiotensin II type 1 receptor (AT1R), SIRT1 also promotes vasodilatory and regenerative functions in endothelial and smooth muscle cells of the vascular wall. Given the array of potentially beneficial effects of SIRT activation on cardiovascular health, interest in developing specific SIRT agonists is well-substantiated. Because SIRT activity depends on cellular NAD+ availability, enzymes involved in NAD+ biosynthesis, including nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (Nampt), may also be valuable pharmaceutical targets for managing CVD. Herein we review the actions of the SIRT proteins on the cardiovascular system and consider the potential of modulating SIRT activity and NAD+ availability to control CVD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic
  • Humans
  • Myocardium / metabolism
  • NAD / metabolism*
  • Sirtuins / metabolism*


  • NAD
  • Sirtuins