Emerging roles of NAD+ and its metabolites in cell signaling

Sci Signal. 2009 Feb 10;2(57):mr1. doi: 10.1126/scisignal.257mr1.


Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD(+)) is the universal currency of energy metabolism and electron transfer. Recent studies indicate that apart from its role as a coenzyme, NAD(+) and its metabolites also function in cell signaling pathways; for example, they are substrates for nucleotide-metabolizing enzymes and ligands for extra- and intracellular receptors and ion channels. Moreover, the NAD(+) and NAD(+) phosphate metabolites adenosine 5'-diphosphoribose (ADP-ribose), cyclic ADP-ribose, and nicotinic acid adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NAADP) have emerged as key second messengers in Ca(2+) signaling. A symposium in Hamburg, Germany, brought together 120 researchers from various fields, who were all engaged in the molecular characterization of the key players of NAD(+) signaling (www.NAD2008.de).

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Diphosphate Ribose / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Cell Physiological Phenomena*
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Humans
  • NAD / metabolism*
  • NADP / metabolism
  • Niacinamide / metabolism
  • Second Messenger Systems / physiology
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*


  • NAD
  • Adenosine Diphosphate Ribose
  • Niacinamide
  • NADP