For much of the time since their discovery, the sirtuin family of deacetylase enzymes has been associated with extension of life span. This longevity-promoting capacity in numerous model systems has enabled the sirtuins to gain "celebrity status" in the field of aging research. However, the mechanisms underpinning these changes remain incompletely defined. A general phenotype long associated with aging is the dysregulation of biological systems, which partly occurs via the accumulation of damage over time. One of the major sources of this damage is oxidative stress, which can harm both biological structures and the mechanisms with which they are repaired. It is now becoming clear that the beneficial life-span effects of sirtuins, along with many of their other functions, are closely linked to their ability to regulate systems that control the redox environment. Here we investigate the links between sirtuins and their oxidative/redox environment and review the control mechanisms that are regulated by the activity of sirtuin deacetylase proteins.
Published by Elsevier Inc.