Sirtuins and ageing—new findings

Leonard Guarente

Author Affiliations

  • Leonard Guarente, 1 Department of Biology and Glenn Laboratory for the Science of Aging, MIT, Cambridge, USA

Calorie (or dietary) restriction was first shown to extend rodent lifespan almost 80 years ago, and remains the most robust longevity‐promoting intervention in mammals, genetic or dietary. Sirtuins are NAD‐dependent deacylases homologous to yeast Sir2p and were first shown to extend replicative lifespan in budding yeast [1]. Because of their NAD requirement, sirtuins were proposed as mediators of the anti‐ageing effects of calorie restriction [1]. Indeed, many studies in yeast, Caenorhabditis elegans, Drosophila melanogaster and mice have supported these ideas [2]. However, a 2011 paper posed a challenge: transgenic strains of C. elegans and Drosophila that overexpress SIR2 were found not to be long‐lived [3].

Rather than review the extensive sirtuin literature …

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