Physiology and functional biology of systems

Potential role of sirtuins in livestock production

Y. Ghinis-Hozumia1, A. Antaramiana2, F. Villarroyaa3, E. Piñaa4 and O. Moraa5 c1

a1 Programa de Posgrado en Ciencias de la Producción y de la Salud Animal, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), Mexico City 04510, México

a2 Instituto de Neurobiología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Boulevard Juriquilla 3001, Querétaro, Qro. 76230, México

a3 Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular e Instituto de Biomedicina (IBUB), Universitat de Barcelona y Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición, Avenida Diagonal 645, Barcelona 08028, Spain

a4 Departamento de Bioquímica, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City 04510, México

a5 Laboratorio de Rumiología y Metabolismo Nutricional (RuMeN), Secretaría de Posgrado, Facultad de Estudios Superiores-Cuautitlán, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Boulevard Bernardo Quintana 514-D, Colonia Arboledas, Querétaro, Qro. 76140, México


Sirtuins are NAD+-dependent histone and protein deacetylases, which have been studied during the last decade with a focus on their role in lifespan extension and age-related diseases under normal and calorie-restricted or pathological conditions. However, sirtuins also have the ability to regulate energy homeostasis as they can sense the metabolic state of the cell through the NAD+/NADH ratio; hence, changes in the diet can modify the expression of these enzymes. Dietary manipulations are a common practice currently being used in livestock production with favorable results, probably due in part to the enhanced activity of sirtuins. Nevertheless, sirtuin expression in livestock species has not been a research target. For these reasons, the goal of this review is to awaken interest in these enzymes for future detailed characterization in livestock species by presenting a general introduction to what sirtuins are, how they work and what is known about their role in livestock.

(Received August 12 2011)

(Accepted May 08 2012)

(Online publication June 08 2012)


  • energy;
  • livestock;
  • metabolism;
  • production;
  • sirtuin


c1 E-mail: or