Enterocyte-Specific Inactivation of SIRT1 Reduces Tumor Load in the APC+/min Mouse Model
SIRT1 is a mammalian NAD(+)-dependent histone deacetylase implicated in metabolism, development, aging and tumorigenesis. Prior studies that examined the effect of enterocyte-specific overexpression and global deletion of SIRT1 on polyp formation in the intestines of APC(+/min) mice, a commonly used model for intestinal tumorigenesis, yielded conflicting results, supporting either tumor-suppressive or tumor-promoting roles for SIRT1, respectively. In order to resolve the controversy emerging from these prior in vivo studies, in the present report we examined the effect of SIRT1 deficiency confined to the intestines, avoiding the systemic perturbations such as growth retardation seen with global SIRT1 deletion. We crossed APC(+/min) mice with mice bearing enterocyte-specific inactivation of SIRT1 and examined polyp development in the progeny. We found that SIRT1-inactivation reduced total polyp surface (9.3 mm(2) vs. 23.3 mm(2), p = 0.01), average polyp size (0.24 mm(2) vs. 0.51 mm(2), p = 0.005) and the number of polyps >0.5 mm in diameter (14 vs. 23, p = 0.04), indicating that SIRT1 affects both the number and size of tumors. Additionally, tumors in SIRT1-deficient mice exhibited markedly increased numbers of cells undergoing apoptosis, suggesting that SIRT1 contributes to tumor growth by enabling survival of tumor cells. Our results indicate that SIRT1 acts as a tumor promoter in the APC(+/min) mouse model of intestinal tumorigenesis.