The SIRT I enzyme is a NAD dependent deacetylase implicated in ageing, cell protection, and energy metabolism in mammalian cells. How the endogenous activity of SIRT I is modulated is not known. The enzyme CD38 is a multifunctional enzyme capable of synthesis of the second messenger, cADPR, NAADP, and ADPR. However, the major enzymatic activity of CD38 is the hydrolysis of NAD. Of particular interest is the fact that CD38 is present on the inner nuclear membrane. Here, we investigate the modulation of the SIRT I activity by CD38. We propose that by modulating availability of NAD to the SIRT1 enzyme, CD38 may regulate SIRT1 enzymatic activity. We observed that in CD38 knockout mice, tissue levels of NAD are significantly increased. We also observed that incubation of purified recombinant SIRT1 enzyme with CD38 or nuclear extracts of wild-type mice led to a significant inhibition of its activity. In contrast, incubation of SIRT I with cellular extract from CD38 knockout mice was without effect. Furthermore, the endogenous activity of SIRT1 was several time higher in nuclear extracts from CD38 knockout mice when compared to wild-type nuclear extracts. Finally, the in vivo deacetylation of the SIRT1 substrate P53 is increased in CD38 knockout mice tissue. Our data support the novel concept that nuclear CD38 is a major regulator of cellular/nuclear NAD level, and SIRT1 activity. These findings have strong implications for understanding the basic mechanisms that modulate intracellular NAD levels, energy homeostasis, as well as ageing and cellular protection modulated by the SIRT enzymes. (c) 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.