SIRT1-SIRT3 Axis Regulates Cellular Response to Oxidative Stress and Etoposide

Ilaria Carnevale, Laura Pellegrini, Patrizia D'Aquila, Serena Saladini, Emanuela Lococo, Lucia Polletta, Enza Vernucci, Eleonora Foglio, Stefano Coppola, Luigi Sansone, Giuseppe Passarino, Dina Bellizzi, Matteo A. Russo, Massimo Fini, Marco Tafani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sirtuins are conserved NAD+-dependent deacylases. SIRT1 is a nuclear and cytoplasmic sirtuin involved in the control of histones a transcription factors function. SIRT3 is a mitochondrial protein, which regulates mitochondrial function. Although, both SIRT1 and SIRT3 have been implicated in resistance to cellular stress, the link between these two sirtuins has not been studied so far. Here we aimed to unravel: i) the role of SIRT1-SIRT3 axis for cellular response to oxidative stress and DNA damage; ii) how mammalian cells modulate such SIRT1-SIRT3 axis and which mechanisms are involved. Therefore, we analyzed the response to different stress stimuli in WT or SIRT1-silenced cell lines. Our results demonstrate that SIRT1-silenced cells are more resistant to H2O2 and etoposide treatment showing decreased ROS accumulation, γ-H2AX phosphorylation, caspase-3 activation and PARP cleavage. Interestingly, we observed that SIRT1-silenced cells show an increased SIRT3 expression. To explore such a connection, we carried out luciferase assays on SIRT3 promoter demonstrating that SIRT1-silencing increases SIRT3 promoter activity and that such an effect depends on the presence of SP1 and ZF5 recognition sequences on SIRT3 promoter. Afterwards, we performed co-immunoprecipitation assays demonstrating that SIRT1 binds and deacetylates the transcription inhibitor ZF5 and that there is a decreased interaction between SP1 and ZF5 in SIRT1-silenced cells. Therefore, we speculate that acetylated ZF5 cannot bind and sequester SP1 that is free, then, to increase SIRT3 transcription. In conclusion, we demonstrate that cells with low SIRT1 levels can maintain their resistance and survival by increasing SIRT3 expression. J. Cell. Physiol. 232: 1835–1844, 2017.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1835-1844
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Issue number7
Early online dateDec 7 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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