Since the discovery of NAD-dependent deacetylase activity of the silent information regulator-2 (SIR2) family ('sirtuins'), many exciting connections between protein deacetylation and energy metabolism have been revealed. The importance of sirtuins in the regulation of many fundamental biological responses to various nutritional and environmental stimuli has been firmly established. Sirtuins have also emerged as critical regulators for aging and longevity in model organisms. Their absolute requirement of NAD has revived an enthusiasm in the study of mammalian biosynthesis of NAD. Sirtuin-targeted pharmaceutical and nutriceutical interventions against age-associated diseases are also on the horizon. This review summarizes the recent progress in sirtuin research (particularly in mammalian sirtuin biology) and re-evaluates the connection between sirtuins, metabolism, and age-associated diseases (e.g., type-2 diabetes) to set a basis for the next ten years of sirtuin research.
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