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.
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