Aging and exercise affect the level of protein acetylation and SIRT1 activity in cerebellum of male rats

Orsolya Marton, Erika Koltai, Csaba Nyakas, Tibor Bakonyi, Tania Zenteno-Savin, Shuzo Kumagai, Sataro Goto, Zsolt Radak*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


Aging is associated with a gradual decline in cognitive and motor functions, the result of complex biochemical processes including pre- and posttranslational modifications of proteins. Sirtuins are NAD+ dependent protein deacetylases. These enzymes modulate the aging process by lysine deacetylation, which alters the activity and stability of proteins. Exercise can increase mean life-span and improve quality of life. Data from our laboratories revealed that 4 weeks of treadmill running improves performance in the Morris Maze test for young (4 months, old) but not old (30 months, old) male rats, and the exercise could not prevent the age-associated loss in muscle strength assessed by a gripping test. The positive correlation between protein acetylation and the gripping test suggests that the age-dependent decrease in relative activity of SIRT1 in the cerebellum impairs motor function. Similarly to the acetylation level of total proteins, the acetylation of α′-tubulin is also increased with aging, while the effect of exercise training was not found to be significant. Moreover, the protein content of nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase, one of the key enzymes of NAD biosynthesis, decreased in the young exercise group. These data suggest that aging results in decreased specific activity of SIRT1 in cerebellum, which could lead to increased acetylation of protein residues, including α′-tubulin, that interfere with motor function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)679-686
Number of pages8
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Dec
Externally publishedYes


  • Acetylation/deacetylation
  • Aging
  • Exercise
  • Protein stability
  • SIRT1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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