The role of sirtuins in aging and age-related diseases

Adv Med Sci. 2016 Mar;61(1):52-62. doi: 10.1016/j.advms.2015.09.003. Epub 2015 Sep 26.


Sirtuins, initially described as histone deacetylases and gene silencers in yeast, are now known to have much more functions and to be much more abundant in living organisms. Sirtuins gained much attention when they were first acknowledged to be responsible for some beneficial and longevity-promoting effects of calorie restriction in many species of animals - from fruit flies to mammals. In this paper, we discuss some detailed molecular mechanisms of inducing these effects, and wonder if they could be possibly mimicked without actually applying calorie restriction, through induction of sirtuin activity. It is known now that sirtuins, when adjusting the pattern of cellular metabolism to nutrient availability, can regulate many metabolic functions significant from the standpoint of aging research - including DNA repair, genome stability, inflammatory response, apoptosis, cell cycle, and mitochondrial functions. While carrying out these regulations, sirtuins cooperate with many transcription factors, including PGC-1a, NFKB, p53 and FoxO. This paper contains some considerations about possible use of facilitating activity of the sirtuins in prevention of aging, metabolic syndrome, chronic inflammation, and other diseases.

Keywords: Aging; Carcinogenesis; Healthspan; Lifespan regulation; Metabolic syndrome.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Disease*
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • NAD / metabolism
  • Sirtuins / metabolism*


  • NAD
  • Sirtuins