FOXO3: A Major Gene for Human Longevity--A Mini-Review.
ABSTRACT: The gene FOXO3, encoding the transcription factor forkhead box O-3 (FoxO3), is one of only two for which genetic polymorphisms have exhibited consistent associations with longevity in diverse human populations.Here, we review the multitude of actions of FoxO3 that are relevant to health, and thus healthy ageing and longevity.The study involved a literature search for articles retrieved from PubMed using FoxO3 as keyword.We review the molecular genetics of FOXO3 in longevity, then current knowledge of FoxO3 function relevant to ageing and lifespan. We describe how FoxOs are involved in energy metabolism, oxidative stress, proteostasis, apoptosis, cell cycle regulation, metabolic processes, immunity, inflammation and stem cell maintenance. The single FoxO in Hydra confers immortality to this fresh water polyp, but as more complex organisms evolved, this role has been usurped by the need for FoxO to control a broader range of specialized pathways across a wide spectrum of tissues assisted by the advent of as many as 4 FoxO subtypes in mammals. The major themes of FoxO3 are similar, but not identical, to other FoxOs and include regulation of cellular homeostasis, particularly of stem cells, and of inflammation, which is a common theme of age-related diseases. Other functions concern metabolism, cell cycle arrest, apoptosis, destruction of potentially damaging reactive oxygen species and proteostasis.The mechanism by which longevity-associated alleles of FOXO3 reduce age-related mortality is currently of great clinical interest. The prospect of optimizing FoxO3 activity in humans to increase lifespan and reduce age-related diseases represents an exciting avenue of clinical investigation. Research strategies directed at developing therapeutic agents that target FoxO3, its gene and proteins in the pathway(s) FoxO3 regulates should be encouraged and supported.
Project description:Aging constitutes the key risk factor for age-related diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular and neurodegenerative disorders. Human longevity and healthy aging are complex phenotypes influenced by both environmental and genetic factors. The fact that genetic contribution to lifespan strongly increases with greater age provides basis for research on which "protective genes" are carried by long-lived individuals. Studies have consistently revealed FOXO (Forkhead box O) transcription factors as important determinants in aging and longevity. FOXO proteins represent a subfamily of transcription factors conserved from Caenorhabditis elegans to mammals that act as key regulators of longevity downstream of insulin and insulin-like growth factor signaling. Invertebrate genomes have one FOXO gene, while mammals have four FOXO genes: FOXO1, FOXO3, FOXO4, and FOXO6. In mammals, this subfamily is involved in a wide range of crucial cellular processes regulating stress resistance, metabolism, cell cycle arrest, and apoptosis. Their role in longevity determination is complex and remains to be fully elucidated. Throughout this review, the mechanisms by which FOXO factors contribute to longevity will be discussed in diverse animal models, from Hydra to mammals. Moreover, compelling evidence of FOXOs as contributors for extreme longevity and health span in humans will be addressed.
Project description:Forkhead box O (FOXO) transcription factors are key players in diverse cellular processes affecting tumorigenesis, stem cell maintenance and lifespan. To gain insight into the mechanisms of FOXO-regulated target gene expression, we studied genome-wide effects of FOXO3 activation. Profiling RNA polymerase II changes shows that FOXO3 regulates gene expression through transcription initiation. Correlative analysis of FOXO3 and RNA polymerase II ChIP-seq profiles demonstrates FOXO3 to act as a transcriptional activator. Furthermore, this analysis reveals a significant part of FOXO3 gene regulation proceeds through enhancer regions. FOXO3 binds to pre-existing enhancers and further activates these enhancers as shown by changes in histone acetylation and RNA polymerase II recruitment. In addition, FOXO3-mediated enhancer activation correlates with regulation of adjacent genes and pre-existence of chromatin loops between FOXO3 bound enhancers and target genes. Combined, our data elucidate how FOXOs regulate gene transcription and provide insight into mechanisms by which FOXOs can induce different gene expression programs depending on chromatin architecture.
Project description:FOXO transcription factors are key players in diverse cellular processes affecting tumorigenesis, stem cell maintenance and lifespan. To gain insight into mechanisms of FOXO regulated target gene expression, we studied genome-wide effects of FOXO3 activation. Profiling RNA polymerase II changes shows FOXO3 regulates gene expression through transcription initiation. Correlative analysis of FOXO3 and RNA polymerase II ChIP-seq profiles demonstrates FOXO3 to act as a transcriptional activator. Furthermore, this analysis reveals a significant part of FOXO3 gene regulation proceeds through enhancer regions. FOXO3 binds to pre-existing enhancers and further activates these enhancers as shown by changes in histone acetylation and RNA polymerase II recruitment. In addition, FOXO3-mediated enhancer activation correlates with regulation of adjacent genes and pre-existence of chromatin loops between FOXO3 bound enhancers and target genes. Combined, our data elucidate how FOXOs regulate gene transcription and provide insight into mechanisms by which FOXOs can induce different gene expression programs depending on chromatin architecture. Paper with published gene expression: PMID 22139133. Examination of FOXO3 binding and changes in RNAPII occupancy (0, 4, 24 hours after induction) in colorectal cell line
Project description:FOXO transcription factors are key players in diverse cellular responses affecting tumorigenesis, stem cell maintenance and lifespan. To gain insight into mechanisms of FOXO regulated gene expression, we studied genome-wide effects of FOXO3 activation. Profiling RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) changes shows FOXO3 regulates gene expression through transcription initiation. Correlative analysis of FOXO3 and RNAPII ChIP-seq profiles demonstrates FOXO3 to act as a transcriptional activator. Furthermore, this analysis reveals a significant part of FOXO3 gene regulation proceeds through enhancer regions. FOXO3 binds to and activates enhancers as shown by the presence of and changes in enhancer-specific histone modifications and RNAPII occupancy. In addition, FOXO3-mediated enhancer regulation correlates with regulation of adjacent genes and existence of chromatin loops between FOXO3 bound enhancers and regulated genes. Combined, our data elucidate how FOXOs regulate gene transcription and provide insight into mechanisms by which FOXOs can induce different gene expression programs depending on chromatin architecture. seven 4C view point were analyzed on DLD1 colon carcinoma cells containing 4OH-Tamoxifen inducible FOXO3A3-ER (DL23 cells, Kops et al., 2002, Mol Cell Biol), to investigate 3D topology around FOXO3 bound regions and FOXO3 regulated genes before and 4 hours after addition of tamoxifen. 4C procedure, as published before (Splinter et al., 2001, Genes Dev). Cells are cross linked using 1% formaldehyde for 10min at room temperature, nuclei are isolated, after which chromatin is digested with DpnII and subsequently ligated under diluted conditions. After reversal of the cross links the DNA is purified and treated with the second restriction enzyme treatment (Csp). After a second re-ligation step the sample is purified and ligated fragments are analyzed by inverse PCR.
Project description:Transcription factors FOXOs (1, 3, 4) are essential for the maintenance of haematopoietic stem cells. FOXOs are evolutionary conserved substrates of the AKT serine threonine protein kinase that are also phosphorylated by several kinases other than AKT. Specifically, phosphorylation by AKT is known to result in the cytosolic localization of FOXO and subsequent inhibition of FOXO transcriptional activity. In addition to phosphorylation, FOXOs are regulated by a number of other post-translational modifications including acetylation, methylation, redox modulation, and ubiquitination that altogether determine these factors' output. Cumulating evidence raises the possibility that in stem cells, including in haematopoietic stem cells, AKT may not be the dominant regulator of FOXO. To address this question in more detail, we examined gene expression, subcellular localization, and response to AKT inhibition of FOXO1 and FOXO3, the main FOXO expressed in HSPCs (haematopoietic stem and progenitor cells). Here we show that while FOXO1 and FOXO3 transcripts are expressed at similar levels, endogenous FOXO3 protein is mostly nuclear compared to the cytoplasmic localization of FOXO1 in HSPCs. Furthermore, inhibition of AKT does not enhance nuclear localization of FOXO1 nor FOXO3. Nonetheless AKT inhibition in the context of loss of NAD-dependent SIRT1 deacetylase modulates FOXO3 localization in HSPCs. Together, these data suggest that FOXO3 is more active than FOXO1 in primitive haematopoietic stem and multipotent progenitor cells. In addition, they indicate that upstream regulators other than AKT, such as SIRT1, maintain nuclear FOXO localization and activity in HSPCs.
Project description:Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans each carry a single representative of the Forkhead box O (FoxO) family of transcription factors, dFOXO and DAF-16, respectively. Both are required for lifespan extension by reduced insulin/Igf signaling, and their activation in key tissues can extend lifespan. Aging of these tissues may limit lifespan. Alternatively, FoxOs may promote longevity cell nonautonomously by signaling to themselves (FoxO to FoxO) or other factors (FoxO to other) in distal tissues. Here, we show that activation of dFOXO and DAF-16 in the gut/fat body does not require dfoxo/daf-16 elsewhere to extend lifespan. Rather, in Drosophila, activation of dFOXO in the gut/fat body or in neuroendocrine cells acts on other organs to promote healthy aging by signaling to other, as-yet-unidentified factors. Whereas FoxO-to-FoxO signaling appears to be required for metabolic homeostasis, our results pinpoint FoxO-to-other signaling as an important mechanism through which localized FoxO activity ameliorates aging.
Project description:FOXO transcription factors (FOXOs) are central regulators of lifespan across species, yet they also have cell-specific functions, including adult stem cell homeostasis and immune function. Direct targets of FOXOs have been identified genome-wide in several species and cell types. However, whether FOXO targets are specific to cell types and species or conserved across cell types and throughout evolution remains uncharacterized. Here, we perform a meta-analysis of direct FOXO targets across tissues and organisms, using data from mammals as well as Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila. We show that FOXOs bind cell type-specific targets, which have functions related to that particular cell. Interestingly, FOXOs also share targets across different tissues in mammals, and the function and even the identity of these shared mammalian targets are conserved in invertebrates. Evolutionarily conserved targets show enrichment for growth factor signaling, metabolism, stress resistance, and proteostasis, suggesting an ancestral, conserved role in the regulation of these processes. We also identify candidate cofactors at conserved FOXO targets that change in expression with age, including CREB and ETS family factors. This meta-analysis provides insight into the evolution of the FOXO network and highlights downstream genes and cofactors that may be particularly important for FOXO's conserved function in adult homeostasis and longevity.
Project description:Forkhead Box O (FOXO) transcription factors are versatile players in diverse cellular processes, affecting tumorigenesis, metabolism, stem cell maintenance and lifespan. To understand the transcriptional output of FOXO3 activation, we investigate features that define the subset of enhancer binding events that actually contribute to gene regulation. We show FOXO3 transcriptional output is determined by the amount of bound FOXO3, which in turn is determined by motif presence, pre-existing enhancer activity and accessibility. In this manner, FOXO3 amplifies pre-existing levels of activity marks and potentiates enhancer RNA transcription. We conclude that not only enhancer presence and sequence content, but also the pre-existing activity dictates FOXO3 binding and transcriptional output. Considering the flexible and cell type specific nature of regulatory regions and their activity, our observations provide a novel explanation for the diversity in FOXO transcriptional programs and introduce chromatin context as a new player in the regulation of FOXO activity in ageing and disease. Examination of histone modifications and transcriptome changes upon FOXO activation
Project description:Forkhead box O (FoxO) transcription factors (TFs) are key drivers of complex transcriptional programmes that determine animal lifespan. FoxOs regulate a number of other TFs, but how these TFs in turn might mediate the anti-ageing programmes orchestrated by FoxOs in vivo is unclear. Here, we identify an E-twenty six (ETS)-family transcriptional repressor, Anterior open (Aop), as regulated by the single Drosophila melanogaster FoxO (dFOXO) in the adult gut. AOP, the functional orthologue of the human Etv6/Tel protein, binds numerous genomic sites also occupied by dFOXO and counteracts the activity of an ETS activator, Pointed (Pnt), to prevent the lifespan-shortening effects of co-activation of dFOXO and PNT. This detrimental synergistic effect of dFOXO and PNT appears to stem from a mis-regulation of lipid metabolism. At the same time, AOP activity in another fly organ, the fat body, has further beneficial roles, regulating genes in common with dfoxo, such as the secreted, non-sensory, odorant binding protein (Obp99b), and robustly extending lifespan. Our study reveals a complex interplay between evolutionarily conserved ETS factors and dFOXO, the functional significance of which may extend well beyond animal lifespan.
Project description:The mammalian FoxO transcription factors - FoxO1, FoxO3, FoxO4 - function in the nucleus to direct transcription of specific gene targets governing cellular survival, proliferation, metabolism, differentiation and oxidative defense. Activation of PI3K by extracellular growth factors leads to AKT-mediated phosphorylation of FoxO1, FoxO3 and FoxO4, resulting in their sequestration in the cytoplasm such that they are unable to regulate their gene targets. Our study identified FoxOs as novel tumor suppressors in kidney cancer (Gan et al, 2010, Cancer Cell). To understand the tumor suppression function of FoxOs in kidney cancer cells, we performed gene expression profiling in human kidney cancer cells upon FoxO1 or FoxO3 reactivation in order to identify the key transcriptomic alterations mediating FoxO tumor suppression function in kidney cancer cells. We generated RCC4 and UMRC2 cell lines (two human kidney cancer cells with low endogenous FoxO1 and FoxO3 expression) with stable expression of FoxO1(TA)ERT2 or FoxO3(TA)ERT2 construct, which expressed a fusion protein consisting of FoxO(TA) (containing three Ser/Thr AKT phosphorylation sites mutated to alanine) fused to the T2-modified estrogen receptor (ERT2) moiety. We documented that the FoxO(TA)ERT2 fusion protein sequestered FoxO(TA) in the cytoplasm and that 4OHT treatment resulted in rapid translocation of FoxO(TA)ERT2 into the nucleus. We also established stable cell lines with ERT2 expression as control cell lines. (For simplicity, ERT2, FoxO1(TA)ERT2 and FoxO3(TA)ERT2 cell lines will be referred to as EV (empty vector), FoxO1 and FoxO3, respectively, hereafter). We then conducted comparative transcriptome analysis (using the Human Genome U133 Plus 2.0 Array) of EV, FoxO1, or FoxO3-expressing RCC4 and UMRC2 cells at 12 hours with or without 100 nm 4OHT treatment (cultured in DMEM+10% FBS with puromycin selection). To enrich for more proximal actions of FoxO, we selected the 12 hour time point as time course studies revealed dramatic transcriptional changes of known FoxO targets (such as Cyclin D1), yet no discernable cellular phenotypes (apoptosis and cell cycle arrest). We generated 4 transcriptome datasets: FoxO1 RCC4, FoxO3 RCC4, FoxO1 UMRC2, and FoxO3 UMRC2 (by comparing transcriptome data with or without 4OHT treatment), and normalized these transcriptome data against 4OHT-treated EV cells, which show modest 4OHT-induced transcriptional changes.