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The Many Faces of Sirtuins: Sirtuins and the Warburg effect

Metabolic regulators that permit adaptation to changes in caloric intake have been shown to be needed to protect from age-related disorders. Sirtuins play a crucial part in this program, impinging on not only aging but also other diseases. New findings are uncovering the multifaceted activity of sirtuins in living organisms and their effects on healthspan. In 'Bedside to Bench', Leonard Guarente discusses how different sirtuins are hindering cancer metabolism through suppression of the Warburg effect. The apparent antitumor effects of several sirtuins through their regulation of different metabolic pathways suggest therapeutic approaches to induce sirtuin function or that of downstream targets may block cancer growth. In 'Bench to Bedside', Eric Verdin peruses a few studies in different animal models showing that increased amounts of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), a cofactor of sirtuins, may have a positive effect in longevity and span of healthy life, or healthspan, by increasing sirtuin enzymatic activity. Whether harnessing NAD therapeutically is a potential way to extend lifespan and ameliorate diseases is still open to debate.

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Figure 1: Regulation of the Warburg effect by sirtuins.

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Correspondence to Leonard Guarente.

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Competing interests

L.G. has served as a consultant to GlaxoSmithKline and Chronos. He owns stock in Elysium Health and Segterra.

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Guarente, L. The Many Faces of Sirtuins: Sirtuins and the Warburg effect. Nat Med 20, 24–25 (2014).

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