Bovine sirtuins: initial characterization and expression of sirtuins 1 and 3 in liver, muscle, and adipose tissue

J Anim Sci. 2011 Aug;89(8):2529-36. doi: 10.2527/jas.2010-3476. Epub 2011 Mar 18.


Sirtuins, the mammalian homologs of the silent information regulator 2 gene of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, are members of the NAD(+)-dependent family of histone deacetylases. In vertebrates, 7 sirtuins have been described, with different cellular localizations and target proteins. Glucose and lipid metabolism are among the processes regulated by these enzymes. In ruminants, gluconeogenesis is the main biochemical pathway by which glucose is obtained. Because sirtuins in bovines have not been studied, the aim of this work was to obtain sequences coding for the 7 sirtuins and determine the expression patterns of sirtuin1 (Sirt1) and sirtuin3 (Sirt3) in the liver, muscle, and adipose tissue of calves and bulls. Using PCR amplification, we obtained sirtuin gene sequences and reported them to the National Center for Biotechnology Information GenBank. Characteristic sequence motifs corresponding to the sirtuin catalytic core domain were found, including the active and zinc-binding sites. Relative expression patterns of Sirt1 and Sirt3 in liver, muscle, and adipose tissue were quantified by real-time PCR, normalizing to the geometric mean of the housekeeping genes cyclophilin A and β-actin. Expression of Sirt1 was less in liver and muscle, whereas it was greater in adipose tissue of adult animals, with statistical differences (P=0.0071) only in the latter. In the case of Sirt3, expression was greater in all 3 adult tissues, but statistical differences were found only in liver (P=0.0141) and muscle (P=0.0017). The greatest expression was observed in liver for Sirt1 and in muscle for Sirt3, whereas the least expression was in muscle for Sirt1 and in adipose tissue for Sirt3. In other species, sirtuin expression (both Sirt1 and Sirt3) in liver is reported to be the greatest among these 3 tissues, a pattern different from what we measured. These differences in expression can be associated with metabolic differences between nonruminant and ruminant species. However, further research on the relationship between bovine sirtuins and ruminant metabolism is required for a better understanding of these fields.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism*
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Sirtuins / genetics
  • Sirtuins / metabolism*


  • RNA, Messenger
  • Sirtuins