The FOXO family of Forkhead transcription factors, FKHR (FOXO1), FKHR-L1 (FOXO3a) and AFX (FOXO4), are regulated by the phosphoinositide-3-kinase-protein-kinase-B (PI3K-PKB/c-Akt) pathway. Direct phosphorylation by PKB results in cytoplasmic retention and inactivation, inhibiting the expression of FOXO-regulated genes, which control the cell cycle, cell death, cell metabolism and oxidative stress. This pathway appears to be well conserved throughout evolution. In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, it affects lifespan and controls dauer formation. Recent discoveries about FOXO regulation by PI3K-PKB signalling suggest that the PI3K-PKB-FOXO pathway might participate in similar processes in higher eukaryotes.