Pyrroloquinoline quinone increases the expression and activity of Sirt1 and -3 genes in HepG2 cells. Academic Article uri icon


  • Sirtuin (Sirt) 1 and Sirt 3 are nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide ((+))-dependent protein deacetylases that are important to a number of mitochondrial-related functions; thus, identification of sirtuin activators is important. Herein, we hypothesize that pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) can act as a Sirt1/Sirt3 activator. In HepG2 cell cultures, PQQ increased the expression of Sirt1 and Sirt3 gene, protein, and activity levels (P < .05). We also observed a significant increase in nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase gene expression (as early as 18 hours) and increased NAD(+) activity at 24 hours. In addition, targets of Sirt1 and Sirt3 (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor coactivator 1, nuclear respiratory factor 1 and 2, and mitochondrial transcription factor A) were increased at 48 hours. This is the first report that demonstrates PQQ as an activator of Sirt1 and Sirt3 expression and activity, making it an attractive therapeutic agent for the treatment of metabolic diseases and for healthy aging. Based on our study and the available data in vivo, PQQ has the potential to serve as a therapeutic nutraceutical, when enhancing mitochondrial function.

published proceedings

  • Nutr Res

altmetric score

  • 1.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Zhang, J., Meruvu, S., Bedi, Y. S., Chau, J., Arguelles, A., Rucker, R., & Choudhury, M.

citation count

  • 30

complete list of authors

  • Zhang, Jian||Meruvu, Sunitha||Bedi, Yudhishtar Singh||Chau, Jason||Arguelles, Andrix||Rucker, Robert||Choudhury, Mahua

publication date

  • January 2015