Nicotinamide, Nicotinamide Riboside and Nicotinic Acid-Emerging Roles in Replicative and Chronological Aging in Yeast

Biomolecules. 2020 Apr 15;10(4):604. doi: 10.3390/biom10040604.


Nicotinamide, nicotinic acid and nicotinamide riboside are vitamin B3 precursors of NAD+ in the human diet. NAD+ has a fundamental importance for cellular biology, that derives from its essential role as a cofactor of various metabolic redox reactions, as well as an obligate co-substrate for NAD+-consuming enzymes which are involved in many fundamental cellular processes including aging/longevity. During aging, a systemic decrease in NAD+ levels takes place, exposing the organism to the risk of a progressive inefficiency of those processes in which NAD+ is required and, consequently, contributing to the age-associated physiological/functional decline. In this context, dietary supplementation with NAD+ precursors is considered a promising strategy to prevent NAD+ decrease and attenuate in such a way several metabolic defects common to the aging process. The metabolism of NAD+ precursors and its impact on cell longevity have benefited greatly from studies performed in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which is one of the most established model systems used to study the aging processes of both proliferating (replicative aging) and non-proliferating cells (chronological aging). In this review we summarize important aspects of the role played by nicotinamide, nicotinic acid and nicotinamide riboside in NAD+ metabolism and how each of these NAD+ precursors contribute to the different aspects that influence both replicative and chronological aging. Taken as a whole, the findings provided by the studies carried out in S. cerevisiae are informative for the understanding of the complex dynamic flexibility of NAD+ metabolism, which is essential for the maintenance of cellular fitness and for the development of dietary supplements based on NAD+ precursors.

Keywords: NAD+ metabolism; Sir2; aging; vitamin B3; yeast.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA Replication*
  • Humans
  • NAD / metabolism
  • Niacin / metabolism*
  • Niacinamide / analogs & derivatives*
  • Niacinamide / metabolism*
  • Pyridinium Compounds / metabolism*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / growth & development*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism*


  • Pyridinium Compounds
  • nicotinamide-beta-riboside
  • NAD
  • Niacinamide
  • Niacin