Mechanism of inhibition of the human sirtuin enzyme SIRT3 by nicotinamide: Computational and experimental studies

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Sirtuins are key regulators of many cellular functions including cell growth, apoptosis, metabolism, and genetic control of age-related diseases. Sirtuins are themselves regulated by their cofactor nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) as well as their reaction product nicotinamide (NAM), the physiological concentrations of which vary during the process of aging. Nicotinamide inhibits sirtuins through the so-called base exchange pathway, wherein rebinding of the reaction product to the enzyme accelerates the reverse reaction. We investigated the mechanism of nicotinamide inhibition of human SIRT3, the major mitochondrial sirtuin deacetylase, in vitro and in silico using experimental kinetic analysis and Molecular Mechanics-Poisson Boltzmann/Generalized Born Surface Area (MM-PB(GB)SA) binding affinity calculations with molecular dynamics sampling. Through experimental kinetic studies, we demonstrate that NAM inhibition of SIRT3 involves apparent competition between the inhibitor and the enzyme cofactor NAD+, contrary to the traditional characterization of base exchange as noncompetitive inhibition. We report a model for base exchange inhibition that relates such kinetic properties to physicochemical properties, including the free energies of enzyme-ligand binding, and estimate the latter through the first reported computational binding affinity calculations for SIRT3:NAD+, SIRT3:NAM, and analogous complexes for Sir2. The computational results support our kinetic model, establishing foundations for quantitative modeling of NAD+/NAM regulation of mammalian sirtuins during aging and the computational design of sirtuin activators that operate through alleviation of base exchange inhibition.




Guan, X., Lin, P., Knoll, E., & Chakrabarti, R. (2014). Mechanism of inhibition of the human sirtuin enzyme SIRT3 by nicotinamide: Computational and experimental studies. PLoS ONE, 9(9).

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