Sirtuin 6 (SIRT6) regulates redox homeostasis and signaling events in human articular chondrocytes

John A. Collins, Maryna Kapustina, Jesalyn A. Bolduc, James F.W. Pike, Brian O. Diekman, Kimberlee Mix, Susan Chubinskaya, Emrah Eroglu, Thomas Michel, Leslie B. Poole, Cristina M. Furdui, Richard F. Loeser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The nuclear localized protein deacetylase, SIRT6, has been identified as a crucial regulator of biological processes that drive aging. Among these processes, SIRT6 can promote resistance to oxidative stress conditions, but the precise mechanisms remain unclear. The objectives of this study were to examine the regulation of SIRT6 activity by age and oxidative stress and define the role of SIRT6 in maintaining redox homeostasis in articular chondrocytes. Although SIRT6 levels did not change with age, SIRT6 activity was significantly reduced in chondrocytes isolated from older adults. Using dimedone-based chemical probes that detect oxidized cysteines, we identified that SIRT6 is oxidized in response to oxidative stress conditions, an effect that was associated with reduced SIRT6 activity. Enhancement of SIRT6 activity through adenoviral SIRT6 overexpression specifically increased the basal levels of two antioxidant proteins, peroxiredoxin 1 (Prx1) and sulfiredoxin (Srx) and decreased the levels of an inhibitor of antioxidant activity, thioredoxin interacting protein (TXNIP). Conversely, in chondrocytes derived from mice with cartilage specific Sirt6 knockout, Sirt6 loss decreased Prx1 levels and increased TXNIP levels. SIRT6 overexpression decreased nuclear-generated H2O2 levels and oxidative stress-induced accumulation of nuclear phosphorylated p65. Our data demonstrate that SIRT6 activity is altered with age and oxidative stress conditions associated with aging. SIRT6 contributes to chondrocyte redox homeostasis by regulating specific members of the Prx catalytic cycle. Targeted therapies aimed at preventing the age-related decline in SIRT6 activity may represent a novel strategy to maintain redox balance in joint tissues and decrease catabolic signaling events implicated in osteoarthritis (OA).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)90-103
Number of pages14
JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
StatePublished - Apr 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Antioxidant
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Oxidative stress
  • Redox signaling
  • Sirtuin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology (medical)


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