Sirtuins and their relevance to the kidney

J Am Soc Nephrol. 2010 Oct;21(10):1620-7. doi: 10.1681/ASN.2010010046. Epub 2010 Jul 1.


Sirtuins (silent information regulator 2 [Sir2] proteins) belong to an ancient family of evolutionary conserved nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD)(+)-dependent enzymes with deacetylase and/or mono-ADP-ribosyltransferase activity. They regulate DNA repair and recombination, chromosomal stability, and gene transcription, and most importantly mediate the health-promoting effects of caloric restriction (CR), which includes the retardation of aging. At least seven Sir2 homologs, sirtuins (SIRT) 1 to 7 have been identified in mammals. Mammalian SIRT1, the most extensively studied family member, couples protein deacetylation with NAD(+) hydrolysis and links cellular energy and redox state to multiple signaling and survival pathways. Cell-type and context-specific activation of sirtuins increases resistance to metabolic, oxidative, and hypoxic stress in different tissues. In particular, SIRT1 plays a central role in mediating the beneficial effects of CR, and its activation associates with longevity and the attenuation of metabolic disorders. SIRT1 in the kidney is cytoprotective and participates in the regulation of BP and sodium balance. Here, we review sirtuin biology and discuss how CR-triggered sirtuin-dependent pathways affect renal physiology and the pathogenesis of kidney diseases and related disorders.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Pressure
  • Caloric Restriction*
  • Erythropoietin / biosynthesis
  • Humans
  • Hypoxia / metabolism
  • Kidney / physiology*
  • Kidney Diseases / etiology*
  • Sirtuins / physiology*
  • Sodium / metabolism


  • Erythropoietin
  • Sodium
  • Sirtuins