Abstract:Sirtuins (SIRTs) are NAD(+)-dependent deacetylases that regulate proliferation and cell death. In the human ovary, granulosa cells express sirtuin 1 (SIRT1), which has also been detected in human tumors derived from granulosa cells, i.e., granulosa cell tumors (GCTs), and in KGN cells. KGN cells are an established cellular model for the majority of GCTs and were used to explore the role of SIRT1. The SIRT1 activator SRT2104 increased cell proliferation. By contrast, the inhibitor EX527 reduced cell numbers, without inducing apoptosis. These results were supported by the outcome of siRNA-mediated silencing studies. A tissue microarray containing 92 GCTs revealed nuclear and/or cytoplasmic SIRT1 staining in the majority of the samples, and also, SIRT2-7 were detected in most samples. The expression of SIRT1-7 was not correlated with the survival of the patients; however, SIRT3 and SIRT7 expression was significantly correlated with the proliferation marker Ki-67, implying roles in tumor cell proliferation. SIRT3 was identified by a proteomic analysis as the most abundant SIRT in KGN. The results of the siRNA-silencing experiments indicate involvement of SIRT3 in proliferation. Thus, several SIRTs are expressed by GCTs, and SIRT1 and SIRT3 are involved in the growth regulation of KGN. If transferable to GCTs, these SIRTs may represent novel drug targets.