Heart function helped by a protein called SIRT5
Unfortunately, as we get older, our heart function tends to decline. But researchers at Cornell have found a link between heart health and a protein called SIRT5, and new research suggests that increasing the activity of SIRT5 might improve heart function.
Lysine succinylation interferes with the process that generates energy needed for the heart to pump. (Read: not good.) SIRT5 protects the heart by stopping lysine succinylation. Researchers worked with laboratory mice that lacked SIRT5 and found that older mice had defective fatty acid metabolism, decreased production of ATP, and heart muscle thickening. Even young mice that lacked SIRT5 showed some reduction in heart function.
Working with mice was beneficial in this study because researchers were able to mimic a condition seen in humans, and they could also pinpoint why it happened. When SIRT5 is absent and lysine succinylation occurs, mice and humans both develop heart problems. Hopefully, this mouse model will prove to be useful in the development of treatments for human patients. Read more about it here and here.