FOXO-binding partners: it takes two to tango

Oncogene. 2008 Apr 7;27(16):2289-99. doi: 10.1038/onc.2008.22.


Modulation FOXO transcription factor activities can lead to a variety of cellular outputs resulting in changes in proliferation, apoptosis, differentiation and metabolic responses. Although FOXO proteins all contain an identical DNA-binding domain their cellular functions appear to be distinct, as exemplified by differences in the phenotype of Foxo1, Foxo3 and Foxo4 null mutant mice. While some of these differences may be attributable to the differential expression patterns of these transcription factors, many cells and tissues express several FOXO isoforms. Recently it has become clear that FOXO proteins can regulate transcriptional responses independently of direct DNA-binding. It has been demonstrated that FOXOs can associate with a variety of unrelated transcription factors, regulating activation or repression of diverse target genes. The complement of transcription factors expressed in a particular cell type is thus critical in determining the functional end point of FOXO activity. These interactions greatly expand the possibilities for FOXO-mediated regulation of transcriptional programmes. This review details currently described FOXO-binding partners and examines the role of these interactions in regulating cell fate decisions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Protein Binding


  • Forkhead Transcription Factors