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FASEB J. 2019 Mar 6:fj201802752R. doi: 10.1096/fj.201802752R. [Epub ahead of print]

Enhanced SIRT6 activity abrogates the neurotoxic phenotype of astrocytes expressing ALS-linked mutant SOD1.

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Department of Cell and Molecular Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina, USA.


Sirtuins (SIRTs) are NAD+-dependent deacylases that play a key role in transcription, DNA repair, metabolism, and oxidative stress resistance. Increasing NAD+ availability regulates endogenous SIRT activity, leading to increased resistance to oxidative stress and decreased mitochondrial reactive oxygen production in multiple cell types and disease models. This protection, at least in part, depends on the activation of antioxidant mitochondrial proteins. We now show that increasing total NAD+ content in astrocytes leads to the activation of the transcription factor nuclear factor, erythroid-derived 2, like 2 (Nfe2l2 or Nrf2) and up-regulation of the antioxidant proteins heme oxygenase 1 (HO-1) and sulfiredoxin 1 (SRXN1). Nrf2 activation also occurs as a result of SIRT6 overexpression. Mutations in Cu-Zn superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) cause familial forms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Astrocytes isolated from mutant human SOD1-overexpressing mice induce motor neuron death in coculture. Treatment with nicotinamide mononucleotide or nicotinamide riboside increases total NAD+ content in ALS astrocytes and abrogates their toxicity toward cocultured motor neurons. The observed neuroprotection depends on SIRT6 expression in astrocytes. Moreover, overexpression of SIRT6 in astrocytes by itself abrogates the neurotoxic phenotype of ALS astrocytes. Our results identify SIRT6 as a potential therapeutic target to prevent astrocyte-mediated motor neuron death in ALS.-Harlan, B. A., Pehar, M., Killoy, K. M., Vargas, M. R. Enhanced SIRT6 activity abrogates the neurotoxic phenotype of astrocytes expressing ALS-linked mutant SOD1.


NAD; Nrf2; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; nicotinamide mononucleotide; nicotinamide riboside


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