METABOLISM: Biosensor reveals multiple sources for mitochondrial NAD+

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Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) is an essential substrate for sirtuins and poly(adenosine diphosphate-ribose) polymerases (PARPs), which are NAD+-consuming enzymes localized in the nucleus, cytosol, and mitochondria. Fluctuations in NAD+ concentrations within these subcellular compartments are thought to regulate the activity of NAD+-consuming enzymes; however, the challenge in measuring compartmentalized NAD+ in cells has precluded direct evidence for this type of regulation. We describe the development of a genetically encoded fluorescent biosensor for directly monitoring free NAD+ concentrations in subcellular compartments. We found that the concentrations of free NAD+ in the nucleus, cytoplasm, and mitochondria approximate the Michaelis constants for sirtuins and PARPs in their respective compartments. Systematic depletion of enzymes that catalyze the final step of NAD+ biosynthesis revealed cell-specific mechanisms for maintaining mitochondrial NAD+ concentrations.

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