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Journal of Aging Research
Volume 2011, Article ID 235754, 11 pages
Review Article

Sirtuins, Bioageing, and Cancer

1College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, Institute of Cancer Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G11 6NT, Scotland, UK
2Maxillofacial and Head and Neck Unit, Bradford Institute for Health Research, Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Bradford BD5 0NA, UK

Received 3 October 2010; Accepted 16 March 2011

Academic Editor: Matilde E. LLeonart

Copyright © 2011 D. McGuinness et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The Sirtuins are a family of orthologues of yeast Sir2 found in a wide range of organisms from bacteria to man. They display a high degree of conservation between species, in both sequence and function, indicative of their key biochemical roles. Sirtuins are heavily implicated in cell cycle, cell division, transcription regulation, and metabolism, which places the various family members at critical junctures in cellular metabolism. Typically, Sirtuins have been implicated in the preservation of genomic stability and in the prolongation of lifespan though many of their target interactions remain unknown. Sirtuins play key roles in tumourigenesis, as some have tumour-suppressor functions and others influence tumours through their control of the metabolic state of the cell. Their links to ageing have also highlighted involvement in various age-related and degenerative diseases. Here, we discuss the current understanding of the role of Sirtuins in age-related diseases while taking a closer look at their roles and functions in maintaining genomic stability and their influence on telomerase and telomere function.