MIT: What Does NAD+ Do?

Current Opinion in Cell Biology 2003, 15:241–246

Su-Ju Lin and Leonard Guarente

Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, MA 02139, USA e-mail:


Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) is a ubiquitous biological molecule that participates in many metabolic reactions. Recent studies show that NAD also plays important roles in transcriptional regulation, longevity, calorie-restrictionmediated life-span extension and age-associated diseases. It has been shown that NAD affects longevity and transcriptional silencing through the regulation of the Sir2p family, which are NAD-dependent deacetylases. Many human diseases are associated with changes in NAD level and/or the NAD : NADH ratio, raising the possibility that the Sir2p family might play a role in these diseases.

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