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J Biol Chem. 2007 Mar 2;282(9):6823-32. Epub 2006 Dec 30.

Nucleocytoplasmic shuttling of the NAD+-dependent histone deacetylase SIRT1.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, Sapporo Medical University, Japan.


Sir2 (silent information regulator 2) is an NAD(+)-dependent histone deacetylase that contributes to longevity in yeast. SIRT1, a mammalian Sir2 ortholog, deacetylates histones and various transcription factors, including p53, FOXO proteins, and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma. We found that its subcellular localization varied in different tissues of the adult mouse. Some subsets of neurons predominantly expressed SIRT1 in the cytoplasm, but ependymal cells expressed it in both the nucleus and cytoplasm. On the other hand, spermatocytes expressed SIRT1 only in the nucleus. Cardiomyocytes in the day 12.5 mouse embryo expressed SIRT1 exclusively in the nucleus, but in the adult heart, they expressed it in both the cytoplasm and nucleus. C2C12 myoblast cells expressed SIRT1 in the nucleus, but it localized to the cytoplasm after differentiation. LY294002, an inhibitor of phosphoinositide 3-hydroxykinase, strongly inhibited the nuclear localization of SIRT1 in undifferentiated C2C12 cells. In a heterokaryon assay, SIRT1 shuttled between the nucleus and cytoplasm, and leptomycin B, an inhibitor of CRM1-mediated nuclear exportation, inhibited this shuttling. Two nuclear localization signals and two nuclear export signals were identified by deletion and site-directed mutation analyses. Overexpressed nuclear (but not cytoplasmic or dominant-negative) SIRT1 enhanced the deacetylation of histone H3 in C2C12 cells. Moreover, only the nuclear form suppressed the apoptosis of C2C12 cells induced by antimycin A, an oxidative stressor. These findings indicate that nucleocytoplasmic shuttling is a novel regulatory mechanism of SIRT1, which may participate in differentiation and in inhibition of cell death.

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