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Methods Mol Biol. 2013;1077:3-10. doi: 10.1007/978-1-62703-637-5_1.

Introduction: sirtuins in aging and diseases.

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Glenn Lab for the Science of Aging and Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA.


Over the past 15 years, the number of papers published on sirtuins has exploded. The initial link between sirtuins and aging comes from studies in yeast, in which it was shown that the life span of yeast mother cells (replicative aging) was proportional to the SIR2 gene dosage. Subsequent studies have shown that SIR2 homologs also slow aging in C. elegans, Drosophila, and mice. An important insight into the function of sirtuins came from the finding that yeast Sir2p and mammalian SIRT1 are NAD(+)-dependent protein deacetylases. In mammals, there are seven sirtuins (SIRT1-7). Their functions do not appear to be redundant, in part because three are primarily nuclear (SIRT1, 6, and 7), three are mitochondrial (SIRT3, 4, and 5), and one is cytoplasmic (SIRT2). The past decade has provided an avalanche of data showing deacetylation of many key transcription factors. In this chapter, I will address the evidence that sirtuins mediate the effects of CR on physiology and will then turn to the evidence of a relationship between sirtuins and aging and life span. Finally, I will discuss the roles of sirtuins in diseases of aging and the prospects of translating these findings to novel therapeutic strategies to treat major diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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