BMB Reports 2018; 51(10): 500-507
Investigating the role of Sirtuins in cell reprogramming
Jaein Shin1,#, Junyeop Kim1,#, Hanseul Park1 and Jongpil Kim1,2,*
1Laboratory of Stem Cells and Cell Reprogramming, Department of Biomedical Engineering (BKplus21 team), Dongguk University, Seoul 04620, 2Department of Chemistry, Dongguk University, Seoul 04620, Korea
Correspondence to: Tel: +82-2-2260-3213; Fax: +82-2-2290-1368; E-mail:,
#These authors contributed equally to this work.
Received: July 5, 2018; Published online: October 31, 2018.
© Korean Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. All rights reserved.

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Cell reprogramming has been considered a powerful technique in the regenerative medicine field. In addition to diverse its strengths, cell reprogramming technology also has several drawbacks generated during the process of reprogramming. Telomere shortening caused by the cell reprogramming process impedes the efficiency of cell reprogramming. Transcription factors used for reprogramming alter genomic contents and result in genetic mutations. Additionally, defective mitochondria functioning such as excessive mitochondrial fission leads to the limitation of pluripotency and ultimately reduces the efficiency of reprogramming. These problems including genomic instability and impaired mitochondrial dynamics should be resolved to apply cell reprograming in clinical research and to address efficiency and safety concerns. Sirtuin (NAD+-dependent histone deacetylase) has been known to control the chromatin state of the telomere and influence mitochondria function in cells. Recently, several studies reported that Sirtuins could control for genomic instability in cell reprogramming. Here, we review recent findings regarding the role of Sirtuins in cell reprogramming. And we propose that the manipulation of Sirtuins may improve defects that result from the steps of cell reprogramming.
Keywords: Cell reprogramming, Genome stability, Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), Mytochondria dynamics, Sirtuins (Sirts)
Fig. 1. The function of sirtuins on genome stability. Sirt 1, 2, and 6 control the chromatin state by regulating the activation of enzymes during chromatic remodeling. Sirt1 removes acetylates in Sox2 and Myc removes methylates in Oct4. Also, Sirt2 modulates the stability of the Myc protein. SIRT6 can deacetylate H3K9Ac and H3K56Ac and is involved in the transcription of c- Myc. AC: Acetylation, ME: Methylation, SIRT: Surtuin.

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  • Ministry of Health and Welfare(Ministry of Health, Welfare and Family Affairs)


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