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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: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 (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: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:Insulin/IGF-1 signaling plays a central role in longevity across phylogeny. In C. elegans, the forkhead box O (FOXO) transcription factor, DAF-16, is the primary target of insulin/IGF-1 signaling, and multiple isoforms of DAF-16 (a, b, and d/f) modulate lifespan, metabolism, dauer formation, and stress resistance. Thus far, across phylogeny modulation of mammalian FOXOs and DAF-16 have focused on post-translational regulation with little focus on transcriptional regulation. In C. elegans, we have previously shown that DAF-16d/f cooperates with DAF-16a to promote longevity. In this study, we generated transgenic strains expressing near-endogenous levels of either daf-16a or daf-16d/f, and examined temporal expression of the isoforms to further define how these isoforms contribute to lifespan regulation.Here, we show that DAF-16a is sensitive both to changes in gene dosage and to alterations in the level of insulin/IGF-1 signaling. Interestingly, we find that as worms age, the intestinal expression of daf-16d/f but not daf-16a is dramatically upregulated at the level of transcription. Preventing this transcriptional upregulation shortens lifespan, indicating that transcriptional regulation of daf-16d/f promotes longevity. In an RNAi screen of transcriptional regulators, we identify elt-2 (GATA transcription factor) and swsn-1 (core subunit of SWI/SNF complex) as key modulators of daf-16d/f gene expression. ELT-2 and another GATA factor, ELT-4, promote longevity via both DAF-16a and DAF-16d/f while the components of SWI/SNF complex promote longevity specifically via DAF-16d/f.Our findings indicate that transcriptional control of C. elegans FOXO/daf-16 is an essential regulatory event. Considering the conservation of FOXO across species, our findings identify a new layer of FOXO regulation as a potential determinant of mammalian longevity and age-related diseases such as cancer and diabetes.
Project description:Activated phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)-AKT signaling appears to be an obligate event in the development of cancer. The highly related members of the mammalian FoxO transcription factor family, FoxO1, FoxO3, and FoxO4, represent one of several effector arms of PI3K-AKT signaling, prompting genetic analysis of the role of FoxOs in the neoplastic phenotypes linked to PI3K-AKT activation. While germline or somatic deletion of up to five FoxO alleles produced remarkably modest neoplastic phenotypes, broad somatic deletion of all FoxOs engendered a progressive cancer-prone condition characterized by thymic lymphomas and hemangiomas, demonstrating that the mammalian FoxOs are indeed bona fide tumor suppressors. Transcriptome and promoter analyses of differentially affected endothelium identified direct FoxO targets and revealed that FoxO regulation of these targets in vivo is highly context-specific, even in the same cell type. Functional studies validated Sprouty2 and PBX1, among others, as FoxO-regulated mediators of endothelial cell morphogenesis and vascular homeostasis.
Project description:Ageing populations pose one of the main public health crises of our time. Reprogramming gene expression by altering the activities of sequence-specific transcription factors (TFs) can ameliorate deleterious effects of age. Here we explore how a circuit of TFs coordinates pro-longevity transcriptional outcomes, which reveals a multi-tissue and multi-species role for an entire protein family: the E-twenty-six (ETS) TFs. In Drosophila, reduced insulin/IGF signalling (IIS) extends lifespan by coordinating activation of Aop, an ETS transcriptional repressor, and Foxo, a Forkhead transcriptional activator. Aop and Foxo bind the same genomic loci, and we show that, individually, they effect similar transcriptional programmes in vivo. In combination, Aop can both moderate or synergise with Foxo, dependent on promoter context. Moreover, Foxo and Aop oppose the gene-regulatory activity of Pnt, an ETS transcriptional activator. Directly knocking down Pnt recapitulates aspects of the Aop/Foxo transcriptional programme and is sufficient to extend lifespan. The lifespan-limiting role of Pnt appears to be balanced by a requirement for metabolic regulation in young flies, in which the Aop-Pnt-Foxo circuit determines expression of metabolic genes, and Pnt regulates lipolysis and responses to nutrient stress. Molecular functions are often conserved amongst ETS TFs, prompting us to examine whether other Drosophila ETS-coding genes may also affect ageing. We show that five out of eight Drosophila ETS TFs play a role in fly ageing, acting from a range of organs and cells including the intestine, adipose and neurons. We expand the repertoire of lifespan-limiting ETS TFs in C. elegans, confirming their conserved function in ageing and revealing that the roles of ETS TFs in physiology and lifespan are conserved throughout the family, both within and between species.