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The mitochondrial NAD+ transporter SLC25A51 is really a fasting-induced gene


  • The mitochondrial NAD+ transporter Slc25a51 is really a fasting-induced gene.

  • Liver Slc25a51 is regulated by circadian rhythm and is really a target of BMAL1.

  • Reduced Slc25a51 expression suppressed mitochondrial NAD+ levels and SIRT3 activity in hepatocytes and the liver.

  • Reduced Slc25a51 expression suppressed oxygen consumption rate in hepatocytes.

  • Reduced hepatic Slc25a51 expression caused fatty liver and hypertriglyceridemia in mice.



Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) is really a coenzyme central to metabolism and energy production. NAD+-dependent deacetylase sirtuin 3 (SIRT3) regulates the acetylation degrees of mitochondrial proteins which are involved with mitochondrial homeostasis. Fasting up-regulates hepatic SIRT3 activity, which requires mitochondrial NAD+. What’s the mechanism, then, to move more NAD+ into mitochondria to sustain enhanced SIRT3 activity during fasting?


SLC25A51 is really a recently discovered mitochondrial NAD+ transporter. We tested the hypothesis that, during fasting, increased expression of SLC25A51 is necessary for enhanced mitochondrial NAD+ uptake to sustain SIRT3 activity. As the fasting-fed cycle and circadian rhythm are closely linked, we further tested the hypothesis that SLC25A51 is really a circadian regulated gene.


We examined Slc25a51 expression in the liver of fasted mice, and examined its circadian rhythm in wild-type mice and the ones with liver-specific deletion of the clock gene BMAL1 (LKO). We suppressed Slc25a51 expression in hepatocytes and the mouse liver using shRNA-mediated knockdown, and then examined mitochondrial NAD+ levels, SIRT3 activities, and acetylation degrees of SIRT3 target proteins (IDH2 and ACADL). We measured mitochondrial oxygen consumption rate using Seahorse analysis in hepatocytes with minimal Slc25a51 expression.


We discovered that fasting induced the hepatic expression of Slc25a51, and its own expression showed a circadian rhythm-like pattern that has been disrupted in LKO mice. Reduced expression of Slc25a51 in hepatocytes decreased mitochondrial NAD+ levels and SIRT3 activity, reflected by increased acetylation of SIRT3 targets. Slc25a51 knockdown reduced the oxygen consumption rate in intact hepatocytes. Mice with minimal Slc25a51 expression in the liver manifested reduced hepatic mitochondrial NAD+ levels, hepatic steatosis and hypertriglyceridemia.


Slc25a51 is really a fasting-induced gene that’s necessary for hepatic SIRT3 functions.


ACADL (Acyl-CoA dehydrogenase-long chain), BMAL1 (Brain and Muscle ARNT-Like 1), CLOCK (Clock Circadian Regulator), IDH2 (isocitrate dehydrogenase-mitochondrial), NAD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide), NAMPT (nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase), shRNA (short hairpin RNA), SIRT3 (sirtuin 3), TG (triglyceride), WAT (white adipose tissue)


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Article Info

Publication History

Published online: August 03, 2022

Accepted: July 29, 2022

Received: April 11, 2022




2022 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


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