Yeast Sir2 is a heterochromatin component that silences transcription at silent mating loci, telomeres and the ribosomal DNA, and that also suppresses recombination in the rDNA and extends replicative life span. Mutational studies indicate that lysine 16 in the amino-terminal tail of histone H4 and lysines 9, 14 and 18 in H3 are critically important in silencing, whereas lysines 5, 8 and 12 of H4 have more redundant functions. Lysines 9 and 14 of histone H3 and lysines 5, 8 and 16 of H4 are acetylated in active chromatin and hypoacetylated in silenced chromatin, and overexpression of Sir2 promotes global deacetylation of histones, indicating that Sir2 may be a histone deacetylase. Deacetylation of lysine 16 of H4 is necessary for binding the silencing protein, Sir3. Here we show that yeast and mouse Sir2 proteins are nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD)-dependent histone deacetylases, which deacetylate lysines 9 and 14 of H3 and specifically lysine 16 of H4. Our analysis of two SIR2 mutations supports the idea that this deacetylase activity accounts for silencing, recombination suppression and extension of life span in vivo. These findings provide a molecular framework of NAD-dependent histone deacetylation that connects metabolism, genomic silencing and ageing in yeast and, perhaps, in higher eukaryotes.
DNA damage-induced acetylation of p53 protein leads to its activation and either growth arrest or apoptosis. We show here that the protein product of the gene hSIR2(SIRT1), the human homolog of the S. cerevisiae Sir2 protein known to be involved in cell aging and in the response to DNA damage, binds and deacetylates the p53 protein with a specificity for its C-terminal Lys382 residue, modification of which has been implicated in the activation of p53 as a transcription factor. Expression of wild-type hSir2 in human cells reduces the transcriptional activity of p53. In contrast, expression of a catalytically inactive hSir2 protein potentiates p53-dependent apoptosis and radiosensitivity. We propose that hSir2 is involved in the regulation of p53 function via deacetylation.
The NAD-dependent histone deacetylation of Sir2 connects cellular metabolism with gene silencing as well as aging in yeast. Here, we show that mammalian Sir2alpha physically interacts with p53 and attenuates p53-mediated functions. Nicotinamide (Vitamin B3) inhibits an NAD-dependent p53 deacetylation induced by Sir2alpha, and also enhances the p53 acetylation levels in vivo. Furthermore, Sir2alpha represses p53-dependent apoptosis in response to DNA damage and oxidative stress, whereas expression of a Sir2alpha point mutant increases the sensitivity of cells in the stress response. Thus, our findings implicate a p53 regulatory pathway mediated by mammalian Sir2alpha. These results have significant implications regarding an important role for Sir2alpha in modulating the sensitivity of cells in p53-dependent apoptotic response and the possible effect in cancer therapy.
The SIR genes are determinants of life span in yeast mother cells. Here we show that life span regulation by the Sir proteins is independent of their role in nonhomologous end joining. The short life span of a sir3 or sir4 mutant is due to the simultaneous expression of a and ␣ mating-type information, which indirectly causes an increase in rDNA recombination and likely increases the production of extrachromosomal rDNA circles. The short life span of a sir2 mutant also reveals a direct failure to repress recombination generated by the Fob1p-mediated replication block in the rDNA. Sir2p is a limiting component in promoting yeast longevity, and increasing the gene dosage extends the life span in wild-type cells. A possible role of the conserved SIR2 in mammalian aging is discussed.
Acetyl coenzyme A (AcCoA) is the central biosynthetic precursor for fatty acid synthesis and protein acetylation. In the conventional view of mammalian cell metabolism, AcCoA is primarily generated from glucose-derived pyruvate through the citrate shuttle and adenosine triphosphate citrate lyase (ACL) in the cytosol1-3. However, proliferating cells that exhibit aerobic glycolysis and those exposed to hypoxia convert glucose to lactate at near stoichiometric levels, directing glucose carbon away from the tricarboxylic acid cycle (TCA) and fatty acid synthesis4. Although glutamine is consumed at levels exceeding that required for nitrogen biosynthesis5, the regulation and utilization of glutamine metabolism in hypoxic cells is not well understood. Here we show that human cells employ reductive metabolism of alpha-ketoglutarate (αKG) to synthesize AcCoA for lipid synthesis. This isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1) dependent pathway is active in most cell lines under normal culture conditions, but cells grown under hypoxia rely almost exclusively on the reductive carboxylation of glutamine-derived αKG for de novo lipogenesis. Furthermore, renal cell lines deficient in the von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) tumor suppressor protein preferentially utilize reductive glutamine metabolism for lipid biosynthesis even at normal oxygen levels. These results identify a critical role for oxygen in regulating carbon utilization in order to produce AcCoA and support lipid synthesis in mammalian cells.
The Sir2 histone deacetylase functions as a chromatin silencer to regulate recombination, genomic stability, and aging in budding yeast. Seven mammalian Sir2 homologs have been identified (SIRT1-SIRT7), and it has been speculated that some may have similar functions to Sir2. Here, we demonstrate that SIRT6 is a nuclear, chromatin-associated protein that promotes resistance to DNA damage and suppresses genomic instability in mouse cells, in association with a role in base excision repair (BER). SIRT6-deficient mice are small and at 2-3 weeks of age develop abnormalities that include profound lymphopenia, loss of subcutaneous fat, lordokyphosis, and severe metabolic defects, eventually dying at about 4 weeks. We conclude that one function of SIRT6 is to promote normal DNA repair, and that SIRT6 loss leads to abnormalities in mice that overlap with aging-associated degenerative processes.
Calorie restriction extends life-span in a wide variety of organisms. Although it has been suggested that calorie restriction may work by reducing the levels of reactive oxygen species produced during respiration, the mechanism by which this regimen slows aging is uncertain. Here, we mimicked calorie restriction in yeast by physiological or genetic means and showed a substantial extension in life-span. This extension was not observed in strains mutant for SIR2 (which encodes the silencing protein Sir2p) or NPT1 (a gene in a pathway in the synthesis of NAD, the oxidized form of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide). These findings suggest that the increased longevity induced by calorie restriction requires the activation of Sir2p by NAD.
Calorie restriction extends lifespan in organisms ranging from yeast to mammals. In yeast, the SIR2 gene mediates the life-extending effects of calorie restriction. Here we show that the mammalian SIR2 orthologue, Sirt1 (sirtuin 1), activates a critical component of calorie restriction in mammals; that is, fat mobilization in white adipocytes. Upon food withdrawal Sirt1 protein binds to and represses genes controlled by the fat regulator PPAR-gamma (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma), including genes mediating fat storage. Sirt1 represses PPAR-gamma by docking with its cofactors NCoR (nuclear receptor co-repressor) and SMRT (silencing mediator of retinoid and thyroid hormone receptors). Mobilization of fatty acids from white adipocytes upon fasting is compromised in Sirt1+/- mice. Repression of PPAR-gamma by Sirt1 is also evident in 3T3-L1 adipocytes, where overexpression of Sirt1 attenuates adipogenesis, and RNA interference of Sirt1 enhances it. In differentiated fat cells, upregulation of Sirt1 triggers lipolysis and loss of fat. As a reduction in fat is sufficient to extend murine lifespan, our results provide a possible molecular pathway connecting calorie restriction to life extension in mammals.
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