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Aging (Albany NY). 2013 Apr;5(4):315-27.

Overexpression of Sir2 in the adult fat body is sufficient to extend lifespan of male and female Drosophila.

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University of Kiel, Dept. of Zoophysiology II, 24098 Kiel, Germany.


Sir2 is the most intensively discussed longevity gene in current aging research. Although, the gene encoding a NAD(+)-dependent histone deacetylase initially was found to extend lifespan of various organisms ranging from yeast to mammals, serious doubts regarding its role in longevity have been expressed recently. In this study, we tested whether tissue-specific overexpression of Sir2 in the adult fat body can extend lifespan when compared to genetically identical controls. We also wanted to elucidate the mechanisms by which fat body Sir2 promotes longevity by studying the phenotypic and transcriptional changes in the fat body. We found that moderate (3-fold) Sir2 overexpression in the fat body during adulthood only can promote longevity in both sexes by roughly 13 %. In addition, we obtained transcriptional profiles elicited by this overexpression and propose a role for Sir2 in lipid droplet biology especially under conditions of starvation. Furthermore, our data do not support the idea of Sir2 mediating the response to dietary restriction (DR) because transcriptional profiles of fat bodies after DR or Sir2 overexpression do not match. This study provides additional independent evidence for the concept of Sir2 as a longevity gene and as a promising pharmacological target to cure age-related diseases.

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