The biochemistry of sirtuins

Anthony A. Sauve, Cynthia Wolberger, Vern L. Schramm, Jef D. Boeke

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Sirtuins are a family of NAD+-dependent protein deacetylases widely distributed in all phyla of life. Accumulating evidence indicates that sirtuins are important regulators of organism life span. In yeast, these unique enzymes regulate gene silencing by histone deacetylation and via formation of the novel compound 2′-O-acetyl-ADP-ribose. In multicellular organisms, sirtuins deacetylate histones and transcription factors that regulate stress, metabolism, and survival pathways. The chemical mechanism of sirtuins provides novel opportunities for signaling and metabolic regulation of protein cleacetylation. The biological, chemical, and structural characteristics of these unusual enzymes are discussed in this review.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)435-465
Number of pages31
JournalAnnual Review of Biochemistry
StatePublished - 2006


  • Deacetylase
  • Gene silencing
  • Longevity
  • NAD
  • O-acetyl-ADP-ribose
  • Sir2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry


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