Authors: Peter Belenky, Frances G. Racette, Katrina L. Bogan, Julie M. McClure, Jeffrey S. Smith, and Charles Brenner
Although NAD(+) biosynthesis is required for Sir2 functions and replicative lifespan in yeast, alterations in NAD(+) precursors have been reported to accelerate aging but not to extend lifespan. In eukaryotes, nicotinamide riboside is a newly discovered NAD(+) precursor that is converted to nicotinamide mononucleotide by specific nicotinamide riboside kinases, Nrk1 and Nrk2. In this study, we discovered that exogenous nicotinamide riboside promotes Sir2-dependent repression of recombination, improves gene silencing, and extends lifespan without calorie restriction. The mechanism of action of nicotinamide riboside is totally dependent on increased net NAD(+) synthesis through two pathways, the Nrk1 pathway and the Urh1/Pnp1/Meu1 pathway, which is Nrk1 independent. Additionally, the two nicotinamide riboside salvage pathways contribute to NAD(+) metabolism in the absence of nicotinamide-riboside supplementation. Thus, like calorie restriction in the mouse, nicotinamide riboside elevates NAD(+) and increases Sir2 function.