Epigenetic regulation of gene expression by histone-modifying co-repressor complexes is central to normal animal development. The NAD+-dependent deacetylase and gene repressor SIRT1 removes histone H4K16 acetylation marks and facilitates heterochromatin formation. However, the mechanistic contribution of SIRT1 to epigenetic regulation at euchromatic loci and whether it acts in concert with other chromatin-modifying activities to control developmental gene expression programs remain unclear. We describe here a SIRT1 co-repressor complex containing the histone H3K4 demethylase LSD1/KDM1A and several other LSD1-associated proteins. SIRT1 and LSD1 interact directly and play conserved and concerted roles in H4K16 deacetylation and H3K4 demethylation to repress genes regulated by the Notch signaling pathway. Mutations in Drosophila SIRT1 and LSD1 orthologs result in similar developmental phenotypes and genetically interact with the Notch pathway in Drosophila. These findings offer new insights into conserved mechanisms of epigenetic gene repression and regulation of development by SIRT1 in metazoans.
SIRT1; LSD1; co-repressor; Notch; chromatin modification
Sirtuins have emerged in recent years as critical regulators of metabolism, influencing numerous facets of energy and nutrient homeostasis. Here, we review recent advances on the role of this fascinating family of mammalian proteins, and their well orchestrated function in modulating mitochondrial activity.
More than a decade ago, sirtuins were discovered as a highly conserved family of NAD+-dependent enzymes that extend lifespan in lower organisms. In mammals, sirtuins are key regulators of stress responses and metabolism, influencing a range of diseases, including diabetes, neurodegeneration, and cancer. In recent years, new functions of sirtuins have been characterized, uncovering the underlying mechanisms of their multifaceted role in metabolism. Here, we specifically review recent progress on the role of sirtuins in DNA repair and energy metabolism, further discussing the implication of sirtuins in the biology of cancer.
SIRT1; SIRT6; SIRT3; Warburg effect; cancer metabolism; DNA repair; genomic instability; sirtuin biology
Feeding on high-calorie (HC) diets induces serious metabolic imbalances, including obesity. Understanding the mechanisms against excessive body weight gain is critical for developing effective anti-obesity strategies. Here, we show that lack of nicotinamide adenosine dinucleotide (NAD+)-dependent deacetylase SIRT1 in pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons causes hypersensitivity to diet-induced obesity due to reduced energy expenditure. The ability of leptin to properly engage the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) signaling in POMC neurons and elicit remodeling of perigonadal white adipose tissue (WAT) is severely compromised in mutant mice. Also, electrophysiological and histomorphomolecular analyses indicate a selective reduction in sympathetic nerve activity and brown-fat-like characteristics in perigonadal WAT of mutant mice; suggesting a physiologically important role for POMC neurons in controlling this visceral fat depot. In summary, our results provide direct genetic evidence that SIRT1 in POMC neurons is required for normal autonomic adaptations against diet-induced obesity.
Sirtuins are the mammalian homologs of the yeast histone deacetylase Sir2. In recent years, an ever-expanding picture has emerged indicating that these proteins (SIRT1-7) play broad functions in cellular stress resistance, genomic stability, energy metabolism, aging and tumorigenesis.1 Among members of this family, SIRT6 appears to have particular significance in regulating metabolism, DNA repair and lifespan.2–4 In this context, new research from our lab has established SIRT6 as a key regulator of glucose homeostasis.5 In this Point of View article, we will first highlight our recent findings, and then provide an indepth discussion of their implications in cancer and aging.
SIRT6; chromatin deacetylase; glucose metabolism; epigenetic; regulation metabolism
SIRT6 is a member of a highly conserved family of NAD+-dependent deacetylases with various roles in metabolism, stress resistance and lifespan. SIRT6 deficient mice develop normally but succumb to a lethal hypoglycemia early in life; however, the mechanism underlying this hypoglycemia remained unclear. Here, we demonstrate that SIRT6 functions as a histone H3K9 deacetylase to control the expression of multiple glycolytic genes. Specifically, SIRT6 appears to function as a co-repressor of the transcription factor Hif1α, a critical regulator of nutrient stress responses. Consistent with this notion, SIRT6 deficient cells exhibit increased Hif1α activity and show increased glucose uptake with up-regulation of glycolysis and diminished mitochondrial respiration. Our studies uncover a novel role for the chromatin factor SIRT6 as a master regulator of glucose homeostasis, and may provide the basis for novel therapeutic approaches against metabolic diseases, such as diabetes and obesity.
Genomic instability and alterations in gene expression are hallmarks of eukaryotic aging. The yeast histone deacetylase Sir2 silences transcription and stabilizes repetitive DNA, but during aging or in response to a DNA break, the Sir complex relocalizes to sites of genomic instability, resulting in the desilencing of genes that cause sterility, a characteristic of yeast aging. Using embryonic stem cells, we show that mammalian Sir2, SIRT1, represses repetitive DNA and a functionally diverse set of genes across the mouse genome. In response to DNA damage, SIRT1 dissociates from these loci and relocalizes to DNA breaks to promote repair, resulting in transcriptional changes that parallel those in the aging mouse brain. Increased SIRT1 expression promotes survival in a mouse model of genomic instability and suppresses age-dependent transcriptional changes. Thus, DNA damage-induced redistribution of SIRT1 and other chromatin modifying proteins may be a conserved mechanism of aging in eukaryotes.
epigenetics; sirtuin; chromatin; histone; DNA repair
Uncontrolled TNF-α synthesis is known to play an important role in numerous inflammatory disorders, and multiple transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulatory mechanisms have therefore evolved to dampen the production of this important pro-inflammatory cytokine. By examining the anti-inflammatory properties of the vitamin B3 constituent nicotinamide, we have uncovered a novel regulatory pathway controlling TNF-α production. Exogenous nicotinamide inhibits TNF-α secretion through modulation of mRNA translation efficiency. Moreover, the capacity to produce TNF-α appears to be directly correlated with intracellular NAD levels, suggesting that a NAD-dependent biological event that can be inhibited by nicotinamide controls TNF-α synthesis in cells of the immune system. Sirtuins represent NAD-dependent deacetylases involved in regulation of gene expression in both mammals and yeasts, and are known to be inhibited by nicotinamide. We demonstrate herein that similarly to nicotinamide, structurally unrelated sirtuin inhibitors downregulate TNF-α secretion with minimal effect on TNF-α gene transcription. By over-expressing individual sirtuin members in cell lines transiently expressing TNF-α, we have identified SIRT6 as a sirtuin member able to upregulate TNF-α synthesis in vitro. In agreement with this finding, bone-marrow derived dendritic cells from SIRT6 KO mice display reduced TNF-α synthesis in response to CpG. Collectively, these data delineate a novel relationship between metabolism and the inflammatory response, by uncovering the role of SIRT6 in the control of TNF-α secretion.
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.
Ageing, or increased mortality with time, coupled with physiologic decline, is a nearly universal yet poorly understood biological phenomenon. Studies in model organisms suggest that two conserved pathways modulate longevity: DNA damage repair and insulin/Igf1-like signaling. In addition, homologs of yeast Sir2 – the sirtuins – regulate lifespan in diverse organisms. Here, we focus on one particular sirtuin, SIRT6. Mice lacking SIRT6 develop a degenerative disorder that in some respects mimics models of accelerated ageing . We discuss how sirtuins in general and SIRT6 specifically relate to other evolutionarily conserved pathways affecting ageing, and how SIRT6 might function to ensure organismal homeostasis and normal lifespan.
Ageing; DNA Damage; Metabolism
Homologs of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae Sir2 protein, sirtuins, promote longevity in many organisms. Studies of the sirtuin SIRT3 have so far been limited to cell culture systems. Here, we investigate the localization and function of SIRT3 in vivo. We show that endogenous mouse SIRT3 is a soluble mitochondrial protein. To address the function and relevance of SIRT3 in the regulation of energy metabolism, we generated and phenotypically characterized SIRT3 knockout mice. SIRT3-deficient animals exhibit striking mitochondrial protein hyperacetylation, suggesting that SIRT3 is a major mitochondrial deacetylase. In contrast, no mitochondrial hyperacetylation was detectable in mice lacking the two other mitochondrial sirtuins, SIRT4 and SIRT5. Surprisingly, despite this biochemical phenotype, SIRT3-deficient mice are metabolically unremarkable under basal conditions and show normal adaptive thermogenesis, a process previously suggested to involve SIRT3. Overall, our results extend the recent finding of lysine acetylation of mitochondrial proteins and demonstrate that SIRT3 has evolved to control reversible lysine acetylation in this organelle.