Regulation and protection of mitochondrial physiology by sirtuins

Mitochondrion. 2012 Jan;12(1):66-76. doi: 10.1016/j.mito.2011.07.003. Epub 2011 Jul 20.


The link between sirtuin activity and mitochondrial biology has recently emerged as an important field. This conserved family of NAD(+)-dependent deacetylase proteins has been described to be particularly involved in metabolism and longevity. Recent studies on protein acetylation have uncovered a high number of acetylated mitochondrial proteins indicating that acetylation/deacetylation processes may be important not only for the regulation of mitochondrial homeostasis but also for metabolic dysfunction in the context of various diseases such as metabolic syndrome/diabetes and cancer. The functional involvement of sirtuins as sensors of the redox/nutritional state of mitochondria and their role in mitochondrial protection against stress are hereby described, suggesting that pharmacological manipulation of sirtuins is a viable strategy against several pathologies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acetylation
  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • Mitochondria / physiology*
  • Mitochondrial Proteins / metabolism
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational
  • Sirtuins / metabolism*


  • Mitochondrial Proteins
  • Sirtuins