CD38 is a multifunctional enzyme that uses nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) as a substrate to generate second messengers. Recently, CD38 was also identified as one of the main cellular NADases in mammalian tissues and appears to regulate cellular levels of NAD in multiple tissues and cells. Due to the emerging role of NAD as a key molecule in multiple signaling pathways, and metabolic conditions it is imperative to determine the cellular mechanisms that regulate the synthesis and degradation of this nucleotide. In fact, recently it has been shown that NAD participates in multiple physiological processes such as insulin secretion, control of energy metabolism, neuronal and cardiac cell survival, airway constriction, asthma, aging and longevity. The discovery of CD38 as the main cellular NADase in mammalian tissues, and the characterization of its role on the control of cellular NAD levels indicate that CD38 may serve as a pharmacological target for multiple conditions.
Keywords: CD38, NAD, SIRT1, aging, obesity, metabolic syndrome
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