SIRT3 and cancer: tumor promoter or suppressor?

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2011 Aug;1816(1):80-8. doi: 10.1016/j.bbcan.2011.04.004. Epub 2011 May 7.


Sirtuins (SIRT1-7), the mammalian homologues of the Sir2 gene in yeast, have emerging roles in age-related diseases, such as cardiac hypertrophy, diabetes, obesity, and cancer. However, the role of several sirtuin family members, including SIRT1 and SIRT3, in cancer has been controversial. The aim of this review is to explore and discuss the seemingly dichotomous role of SIRT3 in cancer biology with particular emphasis on its potential role as a tumor promoter and tumor suppressor. This review will also discuss the potential role of SIRT3 as a novel therapeutic target to treat cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Cell Survival
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Sirtuin 3 / analysis
  • Sirtuin 3 / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Sirtuin 3 / physiology*


  • SIRT3 protein, human
  • Sirtuin 3