From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : SIRT1
Mains level : NA
A study by researchers from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai (TIFR) has revealed that glucose in the body controls the function of SIRT1 enzymes directly.
What is SIRT1?
- SIRT1 is an enzyme that deacetylates (removal of acetyl) proteins which contribute to cellular regulation.
- A shortage or absence of the control by glucose may lead to a diabetic-like state, while excess feeding and sustained low levels of SIRT1 can lead to obesity and enhanced ageing.
- This information is expected to tackle lifestyle disorders and ageing-related diseases.
How do they function?
- In normal healthy individuals, SIRT1 protein levels are known to increase during fasting and decrease during the feed, which is essential to maintain a balance between glucose and fat metabolism.
- The glucose controls the functions of a protein SIRT1 which in turn maintains everyday feed-fast cycles and is also associated with longevity.
- The feed-fast cycle is a basic pattern and the metabolism-related to this is largely taken care of by the liver.
- Thus, the study shows that both over-activation and under-activation of SIRT1 can lead to diseases.
- Glucose puts a check on the activity of SIRT1 in the fed state. In the absence of this check, SIRT1 activity increases and results in hyperglycemia in a fasted state, mimicking diabetic state.
- The constant feeding or high-calorie intake that leads to a sustained reduction in the levels of SIRT1 by glucose which is associated with ageing and obesity.