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1.  Nicotinamide Phosphoribosyl Transferase (Nampt) Is Required for De Novo Lipogenesis in Tumor Cells 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(6):e40195.
Tumor cells have increased metabolic requirements to maintain rapid growth. In particular, a highly lipogenic phenotype is a hallmark of many tumor types, including prostate. Cancer cells also have increased turnover of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+), a coenzyme involved in multiple metabolic pathways. However, a specific role for NAD+ in tumor cell lipogenesis has yet to be described. Our studies demonstrate a novel role for the NAD+-biosynthetic enzyme Nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (Nampt) in maintaining de novo lipogenesis in prostate cancer (PCa) cells. Inhibition of Nampt reduces fatty acid and phospholipid synthesis. In particular, short chain saturated fatty acids and the phosphatidylcholine (PC) lipids into which these fatty acids are incorporated were specifically reduced by Nampt inhibition. Nampt blockade resulted in reduced ATP levels and concomitant activation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and phosphorylation of acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC). In spite of this, pharmacological inhibition of AMPK was not sufficient to fully restore fatty acid synthesis. Rather, Nampt blockade also induced protein hyperacetylation in PC-3, DU145, and LNCaP cells, which correlated with the observed decreases in lipid synthesis. Moreover, the sirtuin inhibitor Sirtinol, and the simultaneous knockdown of SIRT1 and SIRT3, phenocopied the effects of Nampt inhibition on fatty acid synthesis. Altogether, these data reveal a novel role for Nampt in the regulation of de novo lipogenesis through the modulation of sirtuin activity in PCa cells.
PMCID: PMC3387004  PMID: 22768255
2.  Protein kinase C epsilon regulates mitochondrial pools of Nampt and NAD following resveratrol and ischemic preconditioning in the rat cortex 
Preserving mitochondrial pools of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) or nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (Nampt), an enzyme involved in NAD production, maintains mitochondrial function and confers neuroprotection after ischemic stress. However, the mechanisms involved in regulating mitochondrial-localized Nampt or NAD have not been defined. In this study, we investigated the roles of protein kinase C epsilon (PKCɛ) and AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) in regulating mitochondrial pools of Nampt and NAD after resveratrol or ischemic preconditioning (IPC) in the cortex and in primary neuronal-glial cortical cultures. Using the specific PKCɛ agonist ψɛRACK, we found that PKCɛ induced robust activation of AMPK in vitro and in vivo and that AMPK was required for PKCɛ-mediated ischemic neuroprotection. In purified mitochondrial fractions, PKCɛ enhanced Nampt levels in an AMPK-dependent manner and was required for increased mitochondrial Nampt after IPC or resveratrol treatment. Analysis of intrinsic NAD autofluorescence using two-photon microscopy revealed that PKCɛ modulated NAD in the mitochondrial fraction. Further assessments of mitochondrial NAD concentrations showed that PKCɛ has a key role in regulating the mitochondrial NAD+/nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide reduced (NADH) ratio after IPC and resveratrol treatment in an AMPK- and Nampt-dependent manner. These findings indicate that PKCɛ is critical to increase or maintain mitochondrial Nampt and NAD after pathways of ischemic neuroprotection in the brain.
PMCID: PMC4050248  PMID: 24667915
antioxidants; brain ischemia; energy metabolism; ischemic preconditioning and induced tolerance; neuroprotection
3.  NAMPT regulates mitochondria biogenesis via NAD metabolism and calcium binding proteins during skeletal muscle contraction 
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect that muscle contraction induced NAD metabolism via NAMPT has on mitochondrial biogenesis.
Primary skeletal muscle cells were isolated from the gastrocnemius in C57BL/6 mice. The muscle cells were stimulated by electrical current at 1Hz for 3 minutes in conditions of normal or NAD metabolism related inhibitor treatment. NAD/NADH level, Sirt1 and mitochondria biogenesis related signal factor’s changes were examined in normal or NAD metabolism related inhibitor treated cells.
Electrical stimulation (ES) induced muscle contractions significantly increased NAD/NADH levels, NAMPT inhibitor FK-866 inhibited ES-induced NAD formation, which caused SIRT1 expression and PGC-1α deacetylation to decrease. Moreover, NAMPT inhibition decreased mitochondrial biogenesis related mRNA, COX-1 and Tfam levels. Along with AMPK inhibitor, compound C decreases SIRT1 expression, PGC-1α deacetylation and muscle contraction induced mitochondrial biogenesis related mRNA increment. These results indicated that the AMPK-NAMPT signal is a key player for muscle contraction induced SIRT1 expression and PGC-1α deacetylation, which influences mitochondrial biogenesis. Inhibition of the AMPK upregulator, Camkkβ, STO-609 decreased AMPK phosphorylation and SIRT1 expression but did not decrease PGC-1α deacetylation. However, CAMKII inhibition via AIP decreased PGC-1α deacetylation.
In conclusion, the results indicate that NAMPT plays an important role in NAD metabolism and mitochondrial biogenesis. However, mitochondrial biogenesis is also controlled by different calcium binding protein signals including Camkkβ and CAMKII. [Keyword] Muscle contraction, NAD metabolism, SIRT1, PGC-1 α, mitochondria biogenesis.
PMCID: PMC4241898  PMID: 25566462
Muscle contraction; NAD metabolism; SIRT1; PGC-1 α; mitochondria biogenesis
4.  Sirtuin 1 in rat orthotopic liver transplantation: An IGL-1 preservation solution approach 
AIM: To investigate the possible involvement of Sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) in rat orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT), when Institute Georges Lopez 1 (IGL-1) preservation solution is enriched with trimetazidine (TMZ).
METHODS: Male Sprague-Dawley rats were used as donors and recipients. Livers were stored in IGL-1 preservation solution for 8h at 4 °C, and then underwent OLT according to Kamada’s cuff technique without arterialization. In another group, livers were stored in IGL-1 preservation solution supplemented with TMZ, at 10-6 mol/L, for 8 h at 4 °C and then underwent OLT. Rats were sacrificed 24 h after reperfusion, and liver and plasma samples were collected. Liver injury (transaminase levels), mitochondrial damage (glutamate dehydrogenase activity) oxidative stress (malondialdehyde levels), and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+), the co-factor necessary for SIRT1 activity, were determined by biochemical methods. SIRT1 and its substrates (ac-FoxO1, ac-p53), the precursor of NAD+, nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT), as well as the phosphorylation of adenosine monophosphate activated protein kinase (AMPK), p-mTOR, p-p70S6K (direct substrate of mTOR), autophagy parameters (beclin-1, LC3B) and MAP kinases (p-p38 and p-ERK) were determined by Western blot.
RESULTS: Liver grafts preserved in IGL-1 solution enriched with TMZ presented reduced liver injury and mitochondrial damage compared with those preserved in IGL-1 solution alone. In addition, livers preserved in IGL-1 + TMZ presented reduced levels of oxidative stress. This was consistent with enhanced SIRT1 protein expression and elevated SIRT1 activity, as indicated by decreased acetylation of p53 and FoxO1. The elevated SIRT1 activity in presence of TMZ can be attributed to the enhanced NAMPT protein and NAD+/NADH levels. Up-regulation of SIRT1 was consistent with activation of AMPK and inhibition of phosphorylation of mTOR and its direct substrate (p-p70S6K). As a consequence, autophagy mediators (beclin-1 and LC3B) were over-expressed. Furthermore, MAP kinases were regulated in livers preserved with IGL-1 + TMZ, as they were characterized by enhanced p-ERK and decreased p-p38 protein expression.
CONCLUSION: Our study shows that IGL-1 preservation solution enriched with TMZ protects liver grafts from the IRI associated with OLT, through SIRT1 up-regulation.
PMCID: PMC4323452  PMID: 25684941
Sirtuin 1; Ischemia-reperfusion injury; Liver transplantation; IGL-1 preservation solution; Trimetazidine
5.  Nicotinamide Mononucleotide, an Intermediate of NAD+ Synthesis, Protects the Heart from Ischemia and Reperfusion 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(6):e98972.
Nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (Nampt), the rate-limiting enzyme for nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) synthesis, and Sirt1, an NAD+-dependent histone deacetylase, protect the heart against ischemia/reperfusion (I/R). It remains unknown whether Nampt mediates the protective effect of ischemic preconditioning (IPC), whether nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN, 500 mg/kg), a product of Nampt in the NAD+ salvage pathway, mimics the effect of IPC, or whether caloric restriction (CR) upregulates Nampt and protects the heart through a Sirt1-dependent mechanism. IPC upregulated Nampt protein, and the protective effect of IPC against ischemia (30 minutes) and reperfusion (24 hours) was attenuated at both early and late phases in Nampt +/− mice, suggesting that Nampt plays an essential role in mediating the protective effect of IPC. In order to mimic the effect of Nampt, NMN was administered by intraperitoneal injection. NMN significantly increased the level of NAD+ in the heart at baseline and prevented a decrease in NAD+ during ischemia. NMN protected the heart from I/R injury when it was applied once 30 minutes before ischemia or 4 times just before and during reperfusion, suggesting that exogenous NMN protects the heart from I/R injury in both ischemic and reperfusion phases. The protective effect of NMN was accompanied by decreases in acetylation of FoxO1, but it was not obvious in Sirt1 KO mice, suggesting that the effect of NMN is mediated through activation of Sirt1. Compared to control diet (90% calories), CR (60% calories for 6 weeks) in mice led to a significant reduction in I/R injury, accompanied by upregulation of Nampt. The protective effect of CR against I/R injury was not significant in cardiac-specific Sirt1 KO mice, suggesting that the protective effect of CR is in part mediated through the Nampt-Sirt1 pathway. In conclusion, exogenous application of NMN and CR protects the heart by both mimicking IPC and activating Sirt1.
PMCID: PMC4048236  PMID: 24905194
6.  Nampt/PBEF/visfatin regulates insulin secretion in β cells as a systemic NAD biosynthetic enzyme 
Cell metabolism  2007;6(5):363-375.
Intracellular nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (iNampt) is an essential enzyme in the NAD biosynthetic pathway. An extracellular form of this protein (eNampt) has been reported to act as a cytokine named PBEF or an insulin-mimetic hormone named visfatin, but its physiological relevance remains controversial. Here we show that eNampt does not exert insulin-mimetic effects in vitro or in vivo but rather exhibits robust NAD biosynthetic activity. Haplodeficiency and chemical inhibition of Nampt cause defects in NAD biosynthesis and glucose-stimulated insulin secretion in pancreatic islets in vivo and in vitro. These defects are corrected by the administration of nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN), a product of the Nampt reaction. A high concentration of NMN is present in mouse plasma, and plasma eNampt and NMN levels are reduced in Nampt heterozygous females. Our results demonstrate that Nampt-mediated systemic NAD biosynthesis is critical for β cell function, suggesting a vital framework for the regulation of glucose homeostasis.
PMCID: PMC2098698  PMID: 17983582
7.  Elevated microRNA-34a in obesity reduces NAD+ levels and SIRT1 activity by directly targeting NAMPT 
Aging cell  2013;12(6):10.1111/acel.12135.
SIRT1 is an NAD+-dependent deacetylase that is implicated in prevention of many age-related diseases including metabolic disorders. Since SIRT1 deacetylase activity is dependent on NAD+ levels and the development of compounds that directly activate SIRT1 has been controversial, indirectly activating SIRT1 through enhancing NAD+ bioavailability has received increasing attention. NAD+ levels are reduced in obesity and the aged, but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. We recently showed that hepatic microRNA-34a (miR-34a), which is elevated in obesity, directly targets and decreases SIRT1 expression. Here we further show that miR-34a reduces NAD+ levels and SIRT1 activity by targeting NAMPT, the rate-limiting enzyme for NAD+ biosynthesis. A functional binding site for miR-34a is present in the 3′ UTR of NAMPT mRNA. Hepatic overexpression of miR-34a reduced NAMPT/NAD+ levels, increased acetylation of the SIRT1 target transcriptional regulators, PGC-1α, SREBP-1c, FXR, and NF-κB, and resulted in obesity-mimetic outcomes. The decreased NAMPT/NAD+ levels were independent of miR-34a effects on SIRT1 levels since they were also observed in SIRT1 liver-specific knockout mice. Further, the miR-34a-mediated decreases were reversed by treatment with the NAD+ intermediate, nicotinamide mononucleotide. Conversely, antagonism of miR-34a in diet-induced obese mice restored NAMPT/NAD+ levels and alleviated steatosis, inflammation, and glucose intolerance. Anti-miR-34a-mediated increases in NAD+ levels were attenuated when NAMPT was downregulated. Our findings reveal a novel function of miR-34a in reducing both SIRT1 expression and activity in obesity. The miR-34a/NAMPT axis presents a potential target for treating obesity- and aging-related diseases involving SIRT1 dysfunction like steatosis and type 2 diabetes.
PMCID: PMC3838500  PMID: 23834033
miR-34a; steatosis; diabetes; resveratrol; sirtuins; deacetylation
8.  Expression and Regulation of Nampt in Human Islets 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(3):e58767.
Nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (Nampt) is a rate-limiting enzyme in the mammalian NAD+ biosynthesis of a salvage pathway and exists in 2 known forms, intracellular Nampt (iNampt) and a secreted form, extracellular Nampt (eNampt). eNampt can generate an intermediate product, nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN), which has been reported to support insulin secretion in pancreatic islets. Nampt has been reported to be expressed in the pancreas but islet specific expression has not been adequately defined. The aim of this study was to characterize Nampt expression, secretion and regulation by glucose in human islets. Gene and protein expression of Nampt was assessed in human pancreatic tissue and isolated islets by qRT-PCR and immunofluorescence/confocal imaging respectively. Variable amounts of Nampt mRNA were detected in pancreatic tissue and isolated islets. Immunofluorescence staining for Nampt was found in the exocrine and endocrine tissue of fetal pancreas. However, in adulthood, Nampt expression was localized predominantly in beta cells. Isolated human islets secreted increasing amounts of eNampt in response to high glucose (20 mM) in a static glucose-stimulated insulin secretion assay (GSIS). In addition to an increase in eNampt secretion, exposure to 20 mM glucose also increased Nampt mRNA levels but not protein content. The secretion of eNampt was attenuated by the addition of membrane depolarization inhibitors, diazoxide and nifedipine. Islet-secreted eNampt showed enzymatic activity in a reaction with increasing production of NAD+/NADH over time. In summary, we show that Nampt is expressed in both exocrine and endocrine tissue early in life but in adulthood expression is localized to endocrine tissue. Enzymatically active eNampt is secreted by human islets, is regulated by glucose and requires membrane depolarization.
PMCID: PMC3594147  PMID: 23536823
9.  Nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase regulates cell survival through NAD+ synthesis in cardiac myocytes 
Circulation research  2009;105(5):481-491.
NAD+ acts not only as a co-factor for cellular respiration, but also as a substrate for NAD+-dependent enzymes, such as Sirt1. The cellular NAD+ synthesis is regulated by both the de novo and the salvage pathways. Nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (Nampt) is a rate-limiting enzyme in the salvage pathway.
Here we investigated the role of Nampt in mediating NAD+ synthesis in cardiac myocytes and the function of Nampt in the heart in vivo.
Methods and Results
Expression of Nampt in the heart was significantly decreased by ischemia, ischemia/reperfusion and pressure overload. Upregulation of Nampt significantly increased NAD+ and ATP concentrations, while downregulation of Nampt significantly decreased them. Downregulation of Nampt increased caspase 3 cleavage, cytochrome c release, and TUNEL positive cells, which were inhibited in the presence of Bcl-xL, but did not increase hairpin 2 positive cells, suggesting that endogenous Nampt negatively regulates apoptosis but not necrosis. Downregulation of Nampt also impaired autophagic flux, suggesting that endogenous Nampt positively regulates autophagy. Cardiac specific overexpression of Nampt in transgenic mice increased NAD+ content in the heart, prevented downregulation of Nampt and reduced the size of myocardial infarction and apoptosis in response to prolonged ischemia and ischemia/reperfusion.
Nampt critically regulates NAD+ and ATP contents, thereby playing an essential role in mediating cell survival by inhibiting apoptosis and stimulating autophagic flux in cardiac myocytes. Preventing downregulation of Nampt inhibits myocardial injury in response to myocardial ischemia and reperfusion. These results suggest that Nampt is an essential gatekeeper of energy status and survival in cardiac myocytes.
PMCID: PMC2765790  PMID: 19661458
NAD+; Apoptosis; Myocardial ischemia
10.  Loss of AMP-Activated Protein Kinase-α2 Impairs the Insulin-Sensitizing Effect of Calorie Restriction in Skeletal Muscle 
Diabetes  2012;61(5):1051-1061.
Whether the well-known metabolic switch AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is involved in the insulin-sensitizing effect of calorie restriction (CR) is unclear. In this study, we investigated the role of AMPK in the insulin-sensitizing effect of CR in skeletal muscle. Wild-type (WT) and AMPK-α2−/− mice received ad libitum (AL) or CR (8 weeks at 60% of AL) feeding. CR increased the protein level of AMPK-α2 and phosphorylation of AMPK-α2. In WT and AMPK-α2−/− mice, CR induced comparable changes of body weight, fat pad weight, serum triglycerides, serum nonesterified fatty acids, and serum leptin levels. However, decreasing levels of fasting/fed insulin and fed glucose were observed in WT mice but not in AMPK-α2−/− mice. Moreover, CR-induced improvements of whole-body insulin sensitivity (evidenced by glucose tolerance test/insulin tolerance test assays) and glucose uptake in skeletal muscle tissues were abolished in AMPK-α2−/− mice. Furthermore, CR-induced activation of Akt-TBC1D1/TBC1D4 signaling, inhibition of mammalian target of rapamycin−S6K1−insulin receptor substrate-1 pathway, and induction of nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase−NAD+−sirtuin-1 cascade were remarkably impaired in AMPK-α2−/− mice. CR serum increased stability of AMPK-α2 protein via inhibiting the X chromosome-linked ubiquitin-specific protease 9–mediated ubiquitylation of AMPK-α2. Our results suggest that AMPK may be modulated by CR in a ubiquitylation-dependent manner and acts as a chief dictator for the insulin-sensitizing effects of CR in skeletal muscle.
PMCID: PMC3331748  PMID: 22396207
11.  Resveratrol Differentially Regulates NAMPT and SIRT1 in Hepatocarcinoma Cells and Primary Human Hepatocytes 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e91045.
Resveratrol is reported to possess chemotherapeutic properties in several cancers. In this study, we wanted to investigate the molecular mechanisms of resveratrol-induced cell cycle arrest and apoptosis as well as the impact of resveratrol on NAMPT and SIRT1 protein function and asked whether there are differences in hepatocarcinoma cells (HepG2, Hep3B cells) and non-cancerous primary human hepatocytes. We found a lower basal NAMPT mRNA and protein expression in hepatocarcinoma cells compared to primary hepatocytes. In contrast, SIRT1 was significantly higher expressed in hepatocarcinoma cells than in primary hepatocytes. Resveratrol induced cell cycle arrest in the S- and G2/M- phase and apoptosis was mediated by activation of p53 and caspase-3 in HepG2 cells. In contrast to primary hepatocytes, resveratrol treated HepG2 cells showed a reduction of NAMPT enzymatic activity and increased p53 acetylation (K382). Resveratrol induced NAMPT release from HepG2 cells which was associated with increased NAMPT mRNA expression. This effect was absent in primary hepatocytes where resveratrol was shown to function as NAMPT and SIRT1 activator. SIRT1 inhibition by EX527 resembled resveratrol effects on HepG2 cells. Furthermore, a SIRT1 overexpression significantly decreased both p53 hyperacetylation and resveratrol-induced NAMPT release as well as S-phase arrest in HepG2 cells. We could show that NAMPT and SIRT1 are differentially regulated by resveratrol in hepatocarcinoma cells and primary hepatocytes and that resveratrol did not act as a SIRT1 activator in hepatocarcinoma cells.
PMCID: PMC3946349  PMID: 24603648
12.  Leucocytes are a major source of circulating nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT)/pre-B cell colony (PBEF)/visfatin linking obesity and inflammation in humans 
Diabetologia  2011;54(5):1200-1211.
Nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT) is a multifunctional protein potentially involved in obesity and glucose metabolism. We systematically studied the association between circulating NAMPT, obesity, interventions and glucose metabolism and investigated potential underlying inflammatory mechanisms.
Fasting morning NAMPT serum levels were measured in cohorts of lean vs obese children, cohorts of intervention by lifestyle, exercise and bariatric surgery, and during an OGTT. In addition, mRNA expression, protein production and enzymatic activity of NAMPT were assessed from isolated leucocytes and subpopulations.
Circulating NAMPT was significantly elevated in obese compared with lean children and declined after obesity interventions concomitantly with the decline in BMI, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCrP) and leucocyte counts. Circulating NAMPT significantly correlated with glucose metabolism and cardiovascular variables in univariate analyses, but only the association with glucose response during an OGTT was independent from BMI. We therefore assessed the NAMPT dynamic following an oral glucose load and found a significant decline of NAMPT levels to 77.0 ± 0.1% as a function of time, and insulin-to-glucose ratio during an OGTT in obese insulin-resistant adolescents. Circulating NAMPT was, however, most strongly associated with leucocyte counts (r = 0.46, p < 0.001). The leucocyte count itself determined significantly and independently from BMI insulin resistance in multiple regression analyses. We systematically evaluated NAMPT expression among several tissues and found that NAMPT was predominantly expressed in leucocytes. In subsequent analyses of leucocyte subpopulations, we identified higher NAMPT protein concentrations in lysates of granulocytes and monocytes compared with lymphocytes, whereas granulocytes secreted highest amounts of NAMPT protein into cell culture supernatant fractions. We confirmed nicotinamide mononucleotide enzymatic activity of NAMPT in all lysates and supernatant fractions. In monocytes, NAMPT release was significantly stimulated by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) exposure.
Leucocytes are a major source of enzymatically active NAMPT, which may serve as a biomarker or even mediator linking obesity, inflammation and insulin resistance.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00125-010-2042-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorised users.
PMCID: PMC3071946  PMID: 21298414
Adipocytokines; Children; Glucose metabolism; Insulin sensitivity; NAMPT; Obesity; PBEF; Visfatin
13.  Comparing and Contrasting the Roles of AMPK and SIRT1 in Metabolic Tissues 
Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.)  2008;7(23):3669-3679.
The ability to adapt and respond to nutrients is an ancient cellular function, conserved from unicellular to the most complex multicellular organisms, including mammals. Mammals adapt to changes in nutritional status through the modulation of tissue-specific metabolic pathways so as to maintain energy homeostasis. At least two proteins are activated in response to reduced nutrient availability: AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and NAD+-dependent deacetylase SIRT1. AMPK functions as a sensor of cellular energy status and as a master regulator of metabolism. When ATP levels decrease, AMPK is activated to boost ATP production and to inhibit ATP usage, thus restoring energy balance. Similarly, SIRT1 is activated in response to changes in the energy status to promote transcription of genes that mediate the metabolic response to stress, starvation, or calorie restriction. Several observations support a model where, in response to stress and reduced nutrients, a metabolic pathway is activated within which AMPK and SIRT1 concordantly function to ensure an appropriate cellular response and adaptation to environmental modifications. In this perspective, we compare and contrast the roles of SIRT1 and AMPK in several metabolic tissues and propose a working model of how the AMPK-SIRT1 axis may be regulated to control functions relevant to organismal physiology and pathophysiology.
PMCID: PMC2607479  PMID: 19029811
SIRT1; AMPK; Nampt; PGC1-α; Calorie Restriction; Starvation; Gluconeogenesis; Insulin
14.  Downregulation of the Longevity-Associated Protein Sirtuin 1 in Insulin Resistance and Metabolic Syndrome: Potential Biochemical Mechanisms 
Diabetes  2010;59(4):1006-1015.
Sirtuins (SIRTs) are NAD+-dependent deacetylases that regulate metabolism and life span. We used peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) to determine ex vivo whether insulin resistance/metabolic syndrome influences SIRTs. We also assessed the potential mechanisms linking metabolic alterations to SIRTs in human monocytes (THP-1) in vitro.
SIRT1-SIRT7 gene and protein expression was determined in PBMCs of 54 subjects (41 with normal glucose tolerance and 13 with metabolic syndrome). Insulin sensitivity was assessed by the minimal model analysis. Subclinical atherosclerosis was assessed by carotid intima-media thickness (IMT). In THP-1 cells exposed to high glucose or fatty acids in vitro, we explored SIRT1 expression, p53 acetylation, Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK) activation, NAD+ levels, and nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT) expression. The effects of SIRT1 induction by resveratrol and of SIRT1 gene silencing were also assessed.
In vivo, insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome were associated with low PBMC SIRT1 gene and protein expression. SIRT1 gene expression was negatively correlated with carotid IMT. In THP-1 cells, high glucose and palmitate reduced SIRT1 and NAMPT expression and reduced the levels of intracellular NAD+ through oxidative stress. No effect was observed in cells exposed to linoleate or insulin. High glucose and palmitate increased p53 acetylation and JNK phosphorylation; these effects were abolished in siRNA SIRT1–treated cells. Glucose- and palmitate-mediated effects on NAMPT and SIRT1 were prevented by resveratrol in vitro.
Insulin resistance and subclinical atherosclerosis are associated with SIRT1 downregulation in monocytes. Glucotoxicity and lypotoxicity play a relevant role in quenching SIRT1 expression.
PMCID: PMC2844808  PMID: 20068143
15.  Nutritional Energy Stimulates NAD+ Production to Promote Tankyrase-Mediated PARsylation in Insulinoma Cells 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(4):e0122948.
The poly-ADP-ribosylation (PARsylation) activity of tankyrase (TNKS) regulates diverse physiological processes including energy metabolism and wnt/β-catenin signaling. This TNKS activity uses NAD+ as a co-substrate to post-translationally modify various acceptor proteins including TNKS itself. PARsylation by TNKS often tags the acceptors for ubiquitination and proteasomal degradation. Whether this TNKS activity is regulated by physiological changes in NAD+ levels or, more broadly, in cellular energy charge has not been investigated. Because the NAD+ biosynthetic enzyme nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT) in vitro is robustly potentiated by ATP, we hypothesized that nutritional energy might stimulate cellular NAMPT to produce NAD+ and thereby augment TNKS catalysis. Using insulin-secreting cells as a model, we showed that glucose indeed stimulates the autoPARsylation of TNKS and consequently its turnover by the ubiquitin-proteasomal system. This glucose effect on TNKS is mediated primarily by NAD+ since it is mirrored by the NAD+ precursor nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN), and is blunted by the NAMPT inhibitor FK866. The TNKS-destabilizing effect of glucose is shared by other metabolic fuels including pyruvate and amino acids. NAD+ flux analysis showed that glucose and nutrients, by increasing ATP, stimulate NAMPT-mediated NAD+ production to expand NAD+ stores. Collectively our data uncover a metabolic pathway whereby nutritional energy augments NAD+ production to drive the PARsylating activity of TNKS, leading to autoPARsylation-dependent degradation of the TNKS protein. The modulation of TNKS catalytic activity and protein abundance by cellular energy charge could potentially impose a nutritional control on the many processes that TNKS regulates through PARsylation. More broadly, the stimulation of NAD+ production by ATP suggests that nutritional energy may enhance the functions of other NAD+-driven enzymes including sirtuins.
PMCID: PMC4395342  PMID: 25876076
16.  Peroxisome Proliferator Activated Receptor A Ligands as Anticancer Drugs Targeting Mitochondrial Metabolism 
Tumor cells show metabolic features distinctive from normal tissues, with characteristically enhanced aerobic glycolysis, glutaminolysis and lipid synthesis. Peroxisome proliferator activated receptor α (PPAR α) is activated by nutrients (fatty acids and their derivatives) and influences these metabolic pathways acting antagonistically to oncogenic Akt and c-Myc. Therefore PPAR α can be regarded as a candidate target molecule in supplementary anticancer pharmacotherapy as well as dietary therapeutic approach. This idea is based on hitting the cancer cell metabolic weak points through PPAR α mediated stimulation of mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation and ketogenesis with simultaneous reduction of glucose and glutamine consumption. PPAR α activity is induced by fasting and its molecular consequences overlap with the effects of calorie restriction and ketogenic diet (CRKD). CRKD induces increase of NAD+/NADH ratio and drop in ATP/AMP ratio. The first one is the main stimulus for enhanced protein deacetylase SIRT1 activity; the second one activates AMP-dependent protein kinase (AMPK). Both SIRT1 and AMPK exert their major metabolic activities such as fatty acid oxidation and block of glycolysis and protein, nucleotide and fatty acid synthesis through the effector protein peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma 1 α coactivator (PGC-1α). PGC-1α cooperates with PPAR α and their activities might contribute to potential anticancer effects of CRKD, which were reported for various brain tumors. Therefore, PPAR α activation can engage molecular interplay among SIRT1, AMPK, and PGC-1α that provides a new, low toxicity dietary approach supplementing traditional anticancer regimen.
PMCID: PMC3631438  PMID: 21133850
AMP-dependent protein kinase; calorie restriction; fatty acid oxidation; glutaminolysis; ketogenesis; SIRT1
17.  Telmisartan ameliorates insulin sensitivity by activating the AMPK/SIRT1 pathway in skeletal muscle of obese db/db mice 
Telmisartan is a well-established angiotensin II type 1 receptor blocker that improves insulin sensitivity in animal models of obesity and insulin resistance, as well as in humans. Telmisartan has been reported to function as a partial agonist of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) γ, which is also targeted by the nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD)-dependent deacetylase (SIRT1). Here, we investigated the pathways through which telmisartan acts on skeletal muscle, in vitro as well as in vivo.
Nine-week-old male db/db mice were fed a 60% high-fat diet, with orally administrated either vehicle (carboxymethyl-cellulose, CMC), 5 mg/kg telmisartan, or 5 mg/kg telmisartan and 1 mg/kg GW9662, a selective irreversible antagonist of PPARγ, for 5 weeks. Effects of telmisartan on Sirt1 mRNA, AMPK phosphorylation, and NAD+/NADH ratio were determined in C2C12 cultured myocytes.
Results and discussion
Telmisartan treatment improved insulin sensitivity in obese db/db mice fed a high-fat diet and led to reduction in the size of hypertrophic pancreatic islets in these mice. Moreover, in vitro treatment with telmisartan led to increased expression of Sirt1 mRNA in C2C12 skeletal muscle cells; the increase in Sirt1 mRNA in telmisartan-treated C2C12 myoblasts occurred concomitantly with an increase in AMPK phosphorylation, an increase in NAD+/NADH ratio, and increases in the mRNA levels of PGC1α, FATP1, ACO, and GLUT4.
Our results indicate that telmisartan acts through a PPARγ-independent pathway, but at least partially exerts its effects by acting directly on skeletal muscle AMPK/SIRT1 pathways.
PMCID: PMC3527353  PMID: 23137106
Adiponectin; AMP-activated protein kinase; Obesity; Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ; SIRT1
18.  AMPK Regulates Circadian Rhythms in a Tissue- and Isoform-Specific Manner 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(3):e18450.
AMP protein kinase (AMPK) plays an important role in food intake and energy metabolism, which are synchronized to the light-dark cycle. In vitro, AMPK affects the circadian rhythm by regulating at least two clock components, CKIα and CRY1, via direct phosphorylation. However, it is not known whether the catalytic activity of AMPK actually regulates circadian rhythm in vivo.
Methodology/Principal Finding
The catalytic subunit of AMPK has two isoforms: α1 and α2. We investigate the circadian rhythm of behavior, physiology and gene expression in AMPKα1−/− and AMPKα2−/− mice. We found that both α1−/− and α2−/− mice are able to maintain a circadian rhythm of activity in dark-dark (DD) cycle, but α1−/− mice have a shorter circadian period whereas α2−/− mice showed a tendency toward a slightly longer circadian period. Furthermore, the circadian rhythm of body temperature was dampened in α1−/− mice, but not in α2−/− mice. The circadian pattern of core clock gene expression was severely disrupted in fat in α1−/− mice, but it was severely disrupted in the heart and skeletal muscle of α2−/− mice. Interestingly, other genes that showed circadian pattern of expression were dysreguated in both α1−/− and α2−/− mice. The circadian rhythm of nicotinamide phosphoryl-transferase (NAMPT) activity, which converts nicotinamide (NAM) to NAD+, is an important regulator of the circadian clock. We found that the NAMPT rhythm was absent in AMPK-deficient tissues and cells.
This study demonstrates that the catalytic activity of AMPK regulates circadian rhythm of behavior, energy metabolism and gene expression in isoform- and tissue-specific manners.
PMCID: PMC3069094  PMID: 21483791
19.  Involvement of the Clock Gene Rev-erb alpha in the Regulation of Glucagon Secretion in Pancreatic Alpha-Cells 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(7):e69939.
Disruption of pancreatic clock genes impairs pancreatic beta-cell function, leading to the onset of diabetes. Despite the importance of pancreatic alpha-cells in the regulation of glucose homeostasis and in diabetes pathophysiology, nothing is known about the role of clock genes in these cells. Here, we identify the clock gene Rev-erb alpha as a new intracellular regulator of glucagon secretion. Rev-erb alpha down-regulation by siRNA (60–70% inhibition) in alphaTC1-9 cells inhibited low-glucose induced glucagon secretion (p<0.05) and led to a decrease in key genes of the exocytotic machinery. The Rev-erb alpha agonist GSK4112 increased glucagon secretion (1.6 fold) and intracellular calcium signals in alphaTC1-9 cells and mouse primary alpha-cells, whereas the Rev-erb alpha antagonist SR8278 produced the opposite effect. At 0.5 mM glucose, alphaTC1-9 cells exhibited intrinsic circadian Rev-erb alpha expression oscillations that were inhibited by 11 mM glucose. In mouse primary alpha-cells, glucose induced similar effects (p<0.001). High glucose inhibited key genes controlled by AMPK such as Nampt, Sirt1 and PGC-1 alpha in alphaTC1-9 cells (p<0.05). AMPK activation by metformin completely reversed the inhibitory effect of glucose on Nampt-Sirt1-PGC-1 alpha and Rev-erb alpha. Nampt inhibition decreased Sirt1, PGC-1 alpha and Rev-erb alpha mRNA expression (p<0.01) and glucagon release (p<0.05). These findings identify Rev-erb alpha as a new intracellular regulator of glucagon secretion via AMPK/Nampt/Sirt1 pathway.
PMCID: PMC3723646  PMID: 23936124
20.  Lysine deacetylation in ischaemic preconditioning: the role of SIRT1 
Cardiovascular Research  2010;89(3):643-649.
Acute ischaemic preconditioning (IPC) induces protection against cardiac ischaemia–reperfusion (IR) via post-translational modification of key proteins. Lysine (Lys) acetylation is an important regulator of protein function, but this type of modification has not been studied in the context of IPC. We investigated Lys acetylation in IPC and its upstream regulation by SIRT1.
Methods and results
Hearts from C57BL/6 mice were Langendorff-perfused and subjected to IPC and IR injury. Mice were exposed to IPC by in vivo coronary artery occlusion. An isolated cardiomyocyte model of IPC was also developed. Lys acetylation was measured by western blotting, and pharmacological modulators of Lys acetylation were tested. More Lys deacetylation was observed in IPC, in the Langendorff, in vivo, and cellular IPC models; this was concurrent with an increase in SIRT1 activity measured by p53 Lys379 deacetylation. IPC was not accompanied by changes in SIRT1 protein level, but evidence was obtained for SIRT1 modification by Small Ubiquitin-like Modifier (SUMOylation) in IPC. Furthermore, the specific SIRT1 inhibitor splitomicin reversed both IPC-mediated Lys deacetylation and IPC-induced cardioprotection. Inhibition of nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (Nampt, an important enzyme which regulates SIRT1 activity by maintaining availability of the substrate NAD+) also blocked both IPC-induced deacetylation and cardioprotection.
Lys deacetylation occurs during IPC and an elevation in SIRT1 activity plays a role in this phenomenon. Inhibition of SIRT1, either directly or by restricting the availability of its substrate NAD+, inhibits IPC. Together these data suggest a role for SIRT1-mediated Lys deacetylation in the mechanism of acute IPC.
PMCID: PMC3028968  PMID: 20823277
Lysine acetylation; Ischaemia; Sirtuins; Preconditioning; SUMO
21.  Targeting of NAD metabolism in pancreatic cancer cells: potential novel therapy for pancreatic tumors 
Here, we describe a novel interplay between NAD synthesis and degradation involved in pancreatic tumor growth.
Experimental Design
We used human pancreatic cancer cells both in vitro (cell culture experiments) and in vivo (xenograft experiments) to demonstrate the role of NAD synthesis and degradation in tumor cell metabolism and growth.
We demonstrated that pharmacological and genetic targeting of Nampt, the key enzyme in the NAD salvage synthesis pathway, inhibits cell growth and survival of pancreatic cancer cells. These changes were accompanied by a reduction of NAD levels, glycolytic flux, lactate production, mitochondrial function, and levels of ATP. The massive reduction in overall metabolic activity induced by Nampt inhibition was accompanied by a dramatic decrease in pancreatic tumor growth. The results of the mechanistic experiments showed that neither the NAD-dependent enzymes PARP-1, nor SIRT1 play a significant role on the effect of Nampt inhibition on pancreatic cancer cells. However, we identified a role for the NAD degradation pathway mediated by the NADase CD38 on the sensitivity to Nampt inhibition. The responsiveness to Nampt inhibition is modulated by the expression of CD38; low levels of this enzyme decrease the sensitivity to Nampt inhibition. In contrast, its overexpression decreased cell growth in vitro and in vivo and further increases the sensitivity to Nampt inhibition.
Our study demonstrates that NAD metabolism is essential for pancreatic cancer cell survival and proliferation and that targeting NAD synthesis via the Nampt pathway could lead to novel therapeutic treatments for pancreatic cancer.
PMCID: PMC3947324  PMID: 24025713
22.  Nicotinamide mononucleotide, a key NAD+ intermediate, treats the pathophysiology of diet- and age-induced diabetes in mice 
Cell metabolism  2011;14(4):528-536.
Type 2 diabetes (T2D) has become an epidemic in our modern lifestyle, likely due to calorie-rich diets overwhelming our adaptive metabolic pathways. One such pathway is mediated by nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT), the rate-limiting enzyme in mammalian NAD+ biosynthesis, and the NAD+-dependent protein deacetylase SIRT1. Here we show that NAMPT-mediated NAD+ biosynthesis is severely compromised in metabolic organs by high-fat diet (HFD). Strikingly, nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN), a product of the NAMPT reaction and a key NAD+ intermediate, ameliorates glucose intolerance by restoring NAD+ levels in HFD-induced T2D mice. NMN also enhances hepatic insulin sensitivity and restores gene expression related to oxidative stress, inflammatory response, and circadian rhythm, partly through SIRT1 activation. Furthermore, NAD+ and NAMPT levels show significant decreases in multiple organs during aging, and NMN improves glucose intolerance and lipid profiles in age-induced T2D mice. These findings provide critical insights into a potential nutriceutical intervention against diet- and age-induced T2D.
PMCID: PMC3204926  PMID: 21982712
23.  Catastrophic NAD+ Depletion in Activated T Lymphocytes through Nampt Inhibition Reduces Demyelination and Disability in EAE 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(11):e7897.
Nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (Nampt) inhibitors such as FK866 are potent inhibitors of NAD+ synthesis that show promise for the treatment of different forms of cancer. Based on Nampt upregulation in activated T lymphocytes and on preliminary reports of lymphopenia in FK866 treated patients, we have investigated FK866 for its capacity to interfere with T lymphocyte function and survival. Intracellular pyridine nucleotides, ATP, mitochondrial function, viability, proliferation, activation markers and cytokine secretion were assessed in resting and in activated human T lymphocytes. In addition, we used experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) as a model of T-cell mediated autoimmune disease to assess FK866 efficacy in vivo. We show that activated, but not resting, T lymphocytes undergo massive NAD+ depletion upon FK866-mediated Nampt inhibition. As a consequence, impaired proliferation, reduced IFN-γ and TNF-α production, and finally autophagic cell demise result. We demonstrate that upregulation of the NAD+-degrading enzyme poly-(ADP-ribose)-polymerase (PARP) by activated T cells enhances their susceptibility to NAD+ depletion. In addition, we relate defective IFN-γ and TNF-α production in response to FK866 to impaired Sirt6 activity. Finally, we show that FK866 strikingly reduces the neurological damage and the clinical manifestations of EAE. In conclusion, Nampt inhibitors (and possibly Sirt6 inhibitors) could be used to modulate T cell-mediated immune responses and thereby be beneficial in immune-mediated disorders.
PMCID: PMC2774509  PMID: 19936064
24.  SIRT1-dependent Regulation of Chromatin and Transcription: Linking NAD+ Metabolism and Signaling to the Control of Cellular Functions 
Biochimica et biophysica acta  2009;1804(8):1666-1675.
Sirtuins comprise a family of NAD+-dependent protein deacetylases and ADP-ribosyltransferases. Mammalian SIRT1 - a homolog of Sir2, the prototypical member of the sirtuin family - is an important regulator of metabolism, cell differentiation and senescence, stress response, and cancer. As a NAD+-dependent enzyme, SIRT1 regulates gene expression programs in response to cellular metabolic status, thereby coordinating metabolic adaptation of the whole organism. Several important mechanisms have emerged for SIRT1-dependent regulation of transcription. First, SIRT1 can modulate chromatin function through direct deacetylation of histones, as well as by promoting alterations in the methylation of histones and DNA, leading to the repression of transcription. The latter is accomplished through the recruitment of other nuclear enzymes to chromatin for histone methylation and DNA CpG methylation, suggesting a broader role of SIRT1 in epigenetic regulation. Second, SIRT1 can interact and deacetylate a broad range of transcription factors and coregulators, thereby regulating target gene expression both positively and negatively. Cellular energy state, specifically NAD+ metabolism, plays a major role in the regulation of SIRT1 activity. Recent studies on the NAD+ biosynthetic enzymes in the salvage pathway, nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT) and nicotinamide mononucleotide adenylyltransferase 1 (NMNAT-1), have revealed important functions for these enzymes in SIRT1-dependent transcription regulation. The collective molecular actions of SIRT1 control specific patterns of gene expression that modulate a wide variety of physiological outcomes.
PMCID: PMC2886162  PMID: 19879981
SIRT1; NAD+; deacetylation; transcription; chromatin; metabolism
25.  Induction of nerve growth factor expression and release by mechanical and inflammatory stimuli in chondrocytes: possible involvement in osteoarthritis pain 
Nerve growth factor (NGF) level is increased in osteoarthritis (OA) joints and is involved in pain associated with OA. Stimuli responsible for NGF stimulation in chondrocytes are unknown. We investigated whether mechanical stress and proinflammatory cytokines may influence NGF synthesis by chondrocytes.
Primary cultures of human OA chondrocytes, newborn mouse articular chondrocytes or cartilage explants were stimulated by increasing amounts of IL-1β, prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), visfatin/nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT) or by cyclic mechanical compression (0.5 Hz, 1 MPa). Before stimulation, chondrocytes were pretreated with indomethacin, Apo866, a specific inhibitor of NAMPT enzymatic activity, or transfected by siRNA targeting visfatin/NAMPT. mRNA NGF levels were assessed by real-time quantitative PCR and NGF released into media was determined by ELISA.
Unstimulated human and mouse articular chondrocytes expressed low levels of NGF (19.2 ± 8.7 pg/mL, 13.5 ± 1.0 pg/mL and 4.4 ± 0.8 pg/mL/mg tissue for human and mouse articular chondrocytes and costal explants, respectively). Mechanical stress induced NGF release in conditioned media. When stimulated by IL-1β or visfatin/NAMPT, a proinflammatory adipokine produced by chondocytes in response to IL-1β, a dose-dependent increase in NGF mRNA expression and NGF release in both human and mouse chondrocyte conditioned media was observed. Visfatin/NAMPT is also an intracellular enzyme acting as the rate-limiting enzyme of the generation of NAD. The expression of NGF induced by visfatin/NAMPT was inhibited by Apo866, whereas IL-1β-mediated NGF expression was not modified by siRNA targeting visfatin/NAMPT. Interestingly, PGE2, which is produced by chondrocytes in response to IL-1β and visfatin/NAMPT, did not stimulate NGF production. Consistently, indomethacin, a cyclooxygenase inhibitor, did not counteract IL-1β-induced NGF production.
These results show that mechanical stress, IL-1β and extracellular visfatin/NAMPT, all stimulated the expression and release of NGF by chondrocytes and thus suggest that the overexpression of visfatin/NAMPT and IL-1β in the OA joint and the increased mechanical loading of cartilage may mediate OA pain via the stimulation of NGF expression and release by chondrocytes.
PMCID: PMC3978639  PMID: 24438745

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