Secondary Logo

Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Share this article on:

SIRT1, metabolism and cancer

Knight, John R.P.; Milner, Jo

doi: 10.1097/CCO.0b013e32834d813b
CANCER BIOLOGY: Edited by Pierre Hainaut and Amelie Plymoth

Purpose of review SIRT1 impacts upon diverse cellular processes via its roles in the determination of chromatin structure, chromatin remodelling and gene expression. This review covers the recent discoveries linking SIRT1 with the regulation of mammalian metabolism and considers ways in which abnormal metabolism in disease may, in turn, impact upon SIRT1 because of SIRT1's functional dependency upon NAD+.

Recent findings Diverse signalling pathways are integrated to regulate energy metabolism and homeostasis. Such pathways involve intracellular networks and mitochondria, and also intercellular signalling within and between tissues to co-ordinate adaptive metabolic responses within the organism as a whole. Here, we outline the recent studies exploring the regulatory links between SIRT1 and mitochondrial biogenesis, cellular redox and associated metabolic pathways, and angiogenesis/Notch signalling. These links are effected by the SIRT1-mediated deacetylation of transcriptional regulators and enzymes with key roles in metabolism.

Summary SIRT1 activity is directly coupled with homeostasis and metabolism. SIRT1 is also a metabolic sensor. It follows that disease-related metabolic abnormalities are likely to impinge upon SIRT1 functioning. Disease-related functions of SIRT1, in their turn, offer potential targets for the development of novel SIRT1-based therapies. In cancer, for example, the survival function of SIRT1 may reflect abnormal cancer metabolism and identifies SIRT1 as a target for anticancer therapy.

Cancer Cell and Molecular Biology Group, Department of Biology, University of York, York, UK

Correspondence to Jo Milner, Cancer Cell and Molecular Biology Group, Department of Biology, University of York, York, UK. Tel: +44 1904 328620; fax: +44 1904 328622; e-mail:

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.