Synthesis and Assay of SIRT1-Activating Compounds

Methods Enzymol. 2016;574:213-244. doi: 10.1016/bs.mie.2016.01.012. Epub 2016 Feb 9.


The NAD(+)-dependent deacetylase SIRT1 plays key roles in numerous cellular processes including DNA repair, gene transcription, cell differentiation, and metabolism. Overexpression of SIRT1 protects against a number of age-related diseases including diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer's disease. Moreover, overexpression of SIRT1 in the murine brain extends lifespan. A number of small-molecule sirtuin-activating compounds (STACs) that increase SIRT1 activity in vitro and in cells have been developed. While the mechanism for how these compounds act on SIRT1 was once controversial, it is becoming increasingly clear that they directly interact with SIRT1 and enhance its activity through an allosteric mechanism. Here, we present detailed chemical syntheses for four STACs, each from a distinct structural class. Also, we provide a general protocol for purifying active SIRT1 enzyme and outline two complementary enzymatic assays for characterizing the effects of STACs and similar compounds on SIRT1 activity.

Keywords: Allosteric activation; Deacetylation assay; Nicotinamide detection assay; O-Acetyl ADP-ribose detection assay; Protein purification; SIRT1; STAC synthesis; Sirtuin-activating compounds.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Allosteric Regulation / drug effects
  • Animals
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical / methods
  • Enzyme Activation / drug effects
  • Enzyme Activators / chemical synthesis
  • Enzyme Activators / chemistry*
  • Enzyme Activators / pharmacology*
  • Enzyme Assays / methods*
  • Humans
  • Sirtuin 1 / metabolism*
  • Small Molecule Libraries / chemical synthesis
  • Small Molecule Libraries / chemistry*
  • Small Molecule Libraries / pharmacology*


  • Enzyme Activators
  • Small Molecule Libraries
  • Sirtuin 1