The yeast Sir2 protein mediates chromatin silencing through an intrinsic NAD-dependent histone deacetylase activity. Sir2 is a conserved protein and was recently shown to regulate lifespan extension both in budding yeast and worms. Here, we show that SIRT1, the human Sir2 homolog, is recruited to the promyelocytic leukemia protein (PML) nuclear bodies of mammalian cells upon overexpression of either PML or oncogenic Ras (Ha-rasV12). SIRT1 binds and deacetylates p53, a component of PML nuclear bodies, and it can repress p53-mediated transactivation.
Aging is a universal biological phenomenon in eukaryotes, but why and how we age still remain mysterious. It would be of great biological interest and practical importance if we could uncover the molecular mechanism of aging, and find a way to delay the aging process while maintaining physical and mental strengths of youth. Histone deacetylases (HDACs) such as SIR2 and RPD3 are known to be involved in the extension of lifespan in yeast and Caenorhabditis elegans.
When overexpressed, the NAD-dependent protein deacetylase Sir2 extends the lifespan of both budding yeast and the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans. In the worm, this extension of lifespan requires the FOXO transcription factor daf-16. Three recent articles focusing on mammalian homologues of Sir2 and FOXO have highlighted the mechanisms that generate this genetic interaction. Mammalian SIRT1 deacetylates FOXO3 and/or FOXO4, thus attenuating FOXO-induced apoptosis and potentiating FOXO-induced cell-cycle arrest.
Calorie restriction (CR) is a non-genetic manipulation that reliably results in extended lifespan of several species ranging from yeast to dogs. The lifespan extension effect of CR has been strongly associated with an increased level and activation of the silent information regulator 2 (Sir2) histone deacetylase and its mammalian ortholog Sirt1. This association led to the search for potential Sirt1-activating, life-extending molecules. This review briefly outlines the experimental findings on resveratrol and other dietary activators of Sirt1.
Metabolic homeostasis and interventions that influence nutrient uptake are well-established means to influence lifespan even in higher eukaryotes. Until recently, the molecular mechanisms explaining such an effect remained scantily understood. Sirtuins are a group of protein deacetylases that depend on the metabolic intermediate NAD(+) as a cofactor for their function. For this reason they sense metabolic stress and in turn function at multiple levels to exert proper metabolic adaptation.
The phenomenon that caloric restriction increases life span in a variety of species from yeast to mice has been the focus of much interest. Recent observations suggest that a protein important for heterochromatin formation, Sir2, is central for caloric restriction-induced longevity in lower organisms.
In diverse organisms, calorie restriction slows the pace of ageing and increases maximum lifespan. In the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, calorie restriction extends lifespan by increasing the activity of Sir2 (ref. 1), a member of the conserved sirtuin family of NAD(+)-dependent protein deacetylases. Included in this family are SIR-2.1, a Caenorhabditis elegans enzyme that regulates lifespan, and SIRT1, a human deacetylase that promotes cell survival by negatively regulating the p53 tumour suppressor.