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Highly Accessed Protein family review

Sirtuins: Sir2-related NAD-dependent protein deacetylases

Brian J North and Eric Verdin*

Author Affiliations

Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94141, USA

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Genome Biology 2004, 5:224  doi:10.1186/gb-2004-5-5-224

Published: 28 April 2004

Abstract

Silent information regulator 2 (Sir2) proteins, or sirtuins, are protein deacetylases dependent on nicotine adenine dinucleotide (NAD) and are found in organisms ranging from bacteria to humans. In eukaryotes, sirtuins regulate transcriptional repression, recombination, the cell-division cycle, microtubule organization, and cellular responses to DNA-damaging agents. Sirtuins have also been implicated in regulating the molecular mechanisms of aging. The Sir2 catalytic domain, which is shared among all sirtuins, consists of two distinct domains that bind NAD and the acetyl-lysine substrate, respectively. In addition to the catalytic domain, eukaryotic sirtuins contain variable amino- and carboxy-terminal extensions that regulate their subcellular localizations and catalytic activity.