Plasmodium falciparum sirtuin, PfSir2, contains histone deacetylase (HDAC) activity that may be central to the regulation of virulence gene expression in the parasites. Although a few reports have been published recently regarding in vitro and in vivo function of PfSir2, expression of the endogenous protein (c. 30 kDa) has not been shown yet. Here we report the presence of PfSir2 in the parasite at the protein level by specific antibodies. HDAC activity of PfSir2 can be inhibited by nicotinamide, a product of sirtuin reaction. Surprisingly, we find that nicotinamide also delays parasite growth significantly in culture. These findings further our knowledge on PfSir2 and raise the possibility of using an inexpensive agent like nicotinamide as an antimalarial in combination with other antiparasitic drugs. © 2008 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.