Sirtuins such as SIRT1 are conserved protein NAD(+)-dependent deacylases and thus their function is intrinsically linked to cellular metabolism. Over the past two decades, accumulating evidence has indicated that sirtuins are not only important energy status sensors but also protect cells against metabolic stresses. Sirtuins regulate the aging process and are themselves regulated by diet and environmental stress. The versatile functions of sirtuins including, more specifically, SIRT1 are supported by their diverse cellular location allowing cells to sense changes in energy levels in the nucleus, cytoplasm, and mitochondrion. SIRT1 plays a critical role in metabolic health by deacetylating many target proteins in numerous tissues, including liver, muscle, adipose tissue, heart, and endothelium. This sirtuin also exerts important systemic effects via the hypothalamus. This review will cover these topics and suggest that strategies to maintain sirtuin activity may be on the horizon to forestall diseases of aging.
Keywords: CR mimetics; NAD(+); SIRT1; aging; calorie restriction; metabolism; sirtuins.
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