Sirtuins and Cancer: Role in the Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition

Raffaele Palmirotta, Mauro Cives, David Della-Morte, Barbara Capuani, Davide Lauro, Fiorella Guadagni, Franco Silvestris

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The human sirtuins (SIRT1-SIRT7) enzymes are a highly conserved family of NAD+-dependent histone deacetylases, which play a critical role in the regulation of a large number of metabolic pathways involved in stress response and aging. Cancer is an age-Associated disease, and sirtuins may have a considerable impact on a plethora of processes that regulate tumorigenesis. In particular, growing evidence suggests that sirtuins may modulate epithelial plasticity by inducing transcriptional reprogramming leading to epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), invasion, and metastases. Though commonly regarded as EMT inducers, sirtuins may also suppress this process, and their functional properties seem to largely depend on the cellular context, stage of cancer development, tissue of origin, and microenvironment architecture. Here, we review the role of sirtuins in cancer biology with particular emphasis on their role in EMT.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3031459
JournalOxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Publication statusPublished - 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Ageing
  • Biochemistry


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