Sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) is known to suppress differentiation of pluripotent/multipotent cells and neural progenitor cells into neurons by blocking activation of transcription factors critical for neurogenesis. EX-527 is a highly selective and potent inhibitor against SIRT1 and has been used as a chemical probe that modulates SIRT1-associated biological processes. However, the effect of EX-527 on neuronal differentiation in pluripotent cells has not been well elucidated. Here, we report an examination of EX-527 effects on neurogenesis of pluripotent P19 cells. The results showed that EX-527 greatly accelerated differentiation of P19 cells into neurons without generation of cardiac cells and astrocytes. Importantly, neurons derived from P19 cells treated with EX-527 generated voltage-dependent sodium currents and depolarization-induced action potentials. The findings indicate that the differentiated cells have electrophysiological properties. The present study suggests that the selective SIRT1 inhibitor could have the potential of being employed as a chemical inducer to generate functionally active neurons.
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