SIRT3 Deficiency Enhances Ferroptosis and Promotes Cardiac Fibrosis via p53 Acetylation

Cells. 2023 May 19;12(10):1428. doi: 10.3390/cells12101428.


Cardiac fibrosis plays an essential role in the development of diastolic dysfunction and contributes to heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). Our previous studies suggested Sirtuin 3 (SIRT3) as a potential target for cardiac fibrosis and heart failure. In the present study, we explored the role of SIRT3 in cardiac ferroptosis and its contribution to cardiac fibrosis. Our data showed that knockout of SIRT3 resulted in a significant increase in ferroptosis, with increased levels of 4-hydroxynonenal (4-HNE) and downregulation of glutathione peroxidase 4 (GPX-4) in the mouse hearts. Overexpression of SIRT3 significantly blunted ferroptosis in response to erastin, a known ferroptosis inducer, in H9c2 myofibroblasts. Knockout of SIRT3 resulted in a significant increase in p53 acetylation. Inhibition of p53 acetylation by C646 significantly alleviated ferroptosis in H9c2 myofibroblasts. To further explore the involvement of p53 acetylation in SIRT3-mediated ferroptosis, we crossed acetylated p53 mutant (p534KR) mice, which cannot activate ferroptosis, with SIRT3KO mice. SIRT3KO/p534KR mice exhibited a significant reduction in ferroptosis and less cardiac fibrosis compared to SIRT3KO mice. Furthermore, cardiomyocyte-specific knockout of SIRT3 (SIRT3-cKO) in mice resulted in a significant increase in ferroptosis and cardiac fibrosis. Treatment of SIRT3-cKO mice with the ferroptosis inhibitor ferrostatin-1 (Fer-1) led to a significant reduction in ferroptosis and cardiac fibrosis. We concluded that SIRT3-mediated cardiac fibrosis was partly through a mechanism involving p53 acetylation-induced ferroptosis in myofibroblasts.

Keywords: SIRT3; cardiac fibrosis; ferroptosis; myofibroblasts; p53 acetylation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acetylation
  • Animals
  • Ferroptosis*
  • Fibrosis
  • Heart Failure* / pathology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / metabolism
  • Sirtuin 3* / metabolism
  • Stroke Volume
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53


  • Sirtuin 3
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • Sirt3 protein, mouse