Analytical biochemistry

A fluorometric assay of SIRT1 deacetylation activity through quantification of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide.

PMID 19682970


Sirtuins are nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD(+))-dependent deacetylases that catalyze the deacetylation of proteins such as histones and p53. A sensitive and convenient fluorometric assay for evaluating the SIRT1 enzymatic activity was developed here. Specifically, the remaining NAD(+) after the deacetylation was determined by converting NAD(+) to a highly fluorescent cyclized alpha-adduct compound. By this assay, we found that nicotinamide, Cu(2+), and Zn(2+) antagonize the activity of SIRT1. Resveratrol stimulates the enzymatic activity specifically with 7-amino-4-methylcoumarin (AMC)-labeled acetylated peptide. Epigallocatechin galate (EGCG) inhibits SIRT1 activity with both AMC-labeled and unlabeled peptide. However, a combination of vitamin C with EGCG can reverse the inhibition of EGCG with the unlabeled peptide or stimulate the deacetylation of AMC-labeled peptide by SIRT1. The assay does not require any isotopic material and thus is biologically safe. It can be adapted to a 96-well microplate for high-throughput screening. Notably, the acetylated peptides with or without fluorescent labels may be used in the assay, which facilitates the substrate specificity study of SIRT1 activators or inhibitors in vitro.