SIRT6 is a member of a highly conserved family of NAD+-dependent deacetylases with various roles in metabolism, stress resistance, and life span. SIRT6-deficient mice develop normally but succumb to a lethal hypoglycemia early in life; however, the mechanism underlying this hypoglycemia remained unclear. Here, we demonstrate that SIRT6 functions as a histone H3K9 deacetylase to control the expression of multiple glycolytic genes. Specifically, SIRT6 appears to function as a corepressor of the transcription factor Hif1α, a critical regulator of nutrient stress responses. Consistent with this notion, SIRT6-deficient cells exhibit increased Hif1α activity and show increased glucose uptake with upregulation of glycolysis and diminished mitochondrial respiration. Our studies uncover a role for the chromatin factor SIRT6 as a master regulator of glucose homeostasis and may provide the basis for novel therapeutic approaches against metabolic diseases, such as diabetes and obesity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (all)