Cardiology, University Heart Center, University Hospital Zurich and Center for Molecular Cardiology, University of Zurich
Sirtuins (Sirt1-Sirt7) comprise a family of NAD+-dependent enzymes that are activated upon caloric restriction and exercise. They control critical cellular processes in the nucleus, cytoplasm and mitochondria to maintain metabolic homeostasis, reduce cellular damage and dampen inflammation. These events provide protection against many age-related diseases, including cardiovascular pathologies.
Sirt1 exerts beneficial effects on cardiovascular risk factors such as diet-induced obesity, type 2 diabetes and cholesterol metabolism. Moreover, Sirt1 provides protection from endothelial dysfunction, atherosclerosis and thrombosis involving molecular targets such as NFkB, LXR, PCSK9, LDL-R and eNOS.
Given the availability of specific Sirt1 activators and the relevance of specific Sirt1 targets such as PCSK9 in the clinical arena, it is anticipated that this field will move quickly from bench to bedside.