SIRT1 and stem cells: In the forefront with cardiovascular disease, neurodegeneration and cancer

World J Stem Cells. 2015 Mar 26;7(2):235-42. doi: 10.4252/wjsc.v7.i2.235.


Cardiovascular disease, nervous system disorders, and cancer in association with other diseases such as diabetes mellitus result in greater than sixty percent of the global annual deaths. These noncommunicable diseases also affect at least one-third of the population in low and middle-income countries and lead to hypertension, elevated cholesterol, malignancy, and neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and stroke. With the climbing lifespan of the world's population, increased prevalence of these disorders is expected requiring the development of new therapeutic strategies against these disabling disease entities. Targeting stem cell proliferation for cardiac disease, vascular disorders, cancer, and neurodegenerative disorders is receiving great enthusiasm, especially those that focus upon SIRT1, a mammalian homologue of the yeast silent information regulator-2. Modulation of the cellular activity of SIRT1 can involve oversight by nicotinamide/nicotinic acid mononucleotide adenylyltransferase, mammalian forkhead transcription factors, mechanistic of rapamycin pathways, and cysteine-rich protein 61, connective tissue growth factor, and nephroblastoma over-expressed gene family members that can impact cytoprotective outcomes. Ultimately, the ability of SIRT1 to control the programmed cell death pathways of apoptosis and autophagy can determine not only cardiac, vascular, and neuronal stem cell development and longevity, but also the onset of tumorigenesis and the resistance against chemotherapy. SIRT1 therefore has a critical role and holds exciting prospects for new therapeutic strategies that can offer reparative processes for cardiac, vascular, and nervous system degenerative disorders as well as targeted control of aberrant cell growth during cancer.

Keywords: Apoptosis; Autophagy; Cancer; Cardiovascular; Cysteine-rich protein 61, connective tissue growth factor, and nephroblastoma over-expressed gene; FoxO; Mechanistic of rapamycin; Neurodegeneration; Progenitor stem cells; SIRT1.