Tata Institute of Fundamental Research


Ullas S Kolthur

Associate Professor

Sirtuins: implications in cancer and aging

Biochemistry, Biophysics, Molecular Biology

Metabolic and energy homeostasis play a vital role in governing the cellular pathways. It is important to note that molecular factors involved in these processes are implicated in life-style disorders (diabetes/ obesity), aging and age related diseases (cancer/ neurodegeneration).

One of the proteins that directly link metabolic inputs to various molecular events within a cell is Sir2, which was initially identified in yeast as an NAD-dependent HDAC. Sirutins (Sir2-like proteins) play a vital role in cell survival, DNA damage response, cellular differentiation and aging. We use flies, mice and cell culture systems to elucidate the molecular mechanisms regulated by sirtuins. Importantly, we investigate their functions in metabolic and energy homeostasis and also study their role during aging and age-related diseases such as cancer, diabetes and obesity.

Selected Publications

Banerjee KK, Ayyub C, Sengupta S, Kolthur-Seetharam U (2013) Fatbody dSir2 regulates muscle mitochondrial physiology and energy homeostasis via fat metabolism and IIS, and mimics the autonomous functions of dSir2 in muscles. Molecular and Cellular Biology 33: 252

Lazarus A, Banerjee KK, Kolthur-Seetharam U (2013). Small Changes, Big Effects: Chromatin Goes Aging. Subcellular Biochemistry 61:151

Banerjee K, Ayyub C, Ali SZ, Mandot V, Prasad NG, Kolthur-Seetharam U (2013) dSir2 in the adult fatbody but not muscles regulates lifespan in a diet-dependent manner. Cell Reports 2: 1485.

Banerjee K, Ayyub C, Sengupta S, Kolthur-Seetharam U (2012) dSir2 deficiency in the fatbody, but not muscles, affects systemic insulin signaling, fat mobilization and starvation survival in flies. Aging 4:206

Ramachandran D, Roy U, Ghosh S, Garg S, Pathak S, Kolthur-Seetharam U (2011) Glucose dependent changes in mir-9 transcription regulate the NAD-dependent deacetylase Sirt1 in insulin secreting beta-cells. FEBS Journal 278(7):1167


  • Room B-306
  • Tel: +91 22 2278 2721
  • ullas @ tifr.res.in
  • Webpage