Sirtuins and inflammation: Friends or foes?

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Abstract

Lysine acetylation/deacetylation has been recognized as an important posttranslational modification regulating numerous cellular processes. Sirtuins represent novel players in these complex regulatory circuits. These NAD-dependent lysine-deacetylases have attracted much interest based on their role in the regulation of lifespan in lower organisms, and their capacity to interfere with cell growth, proliferation and survival in response to stress. Their absolute requirement for NAD suggests that these enzymes may represent an important molecular link between metabolism and several human disorders such as diabetes and cancer. More recently, the identification of several transcription factors known to play a role in the immune system as sirtuin substrates has suggested that this family of enzymes may also play an important role in the regulation of inflammation, a pathological situation with clear links to metabolism and aging in humans. We review herein the possible links between nuclear sirtuins and the regulation of an immune response, and discuss the possible strategies that may lead to the development of novel therapeutic approaches to treat inflammation by targeting sirtuin activity.

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