Association of the FOXO3A locus with extreme longevity in a southern Italian centenarian study

Rejuvenation Res. 2009 Apr;12(2):95-104. doi: 10.1089/rej.2008.0827.


A number of potential candidate genes in a variety of biological pathways have been associated with longevity in model organisms. Many of these genes have human homologs and thus have the potential to provide insights into human longevity. Recently, several studies suggested that FOXO3A functions as a key bridge for various signaling pathways that influence aging and longevity. Interestingly, Willcox and colleagues identified several variants that displayed significant genotype-gender interaction in male human longevity. In particular, a nested case-control study was performed in an ethnic Japanese population in Hawaii, and five candidate longevity genes were chosen based on links to the insulin-insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) signaling pathway. In the Willcox study, the investigated genetic variations (rs2802292, rs2764264, and rs13217795) within the FOXO3A gene were significantly associated with longevity in male centenarians. We validated the association of FOXO3A polymorphisms with extreme longevity in males from the Southern Italian Centenarian Study. Particularly, rs2802288, a proxy of rs2802292, showed the best allelic association--minor allele frequency (MAF) = 0.49; p = 0.003; odds ratio (OR) = 1.51; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.15-1.98). Furthermore, we undertook a meta-analysis to explore the significance of rs2802292 association with longevity by combining the association results of the current study and the findings coming from the Willcox et al. investigation. Our data point to a key role of FOXO3A in human longevity and confirm the feasibility of the identification of such genes with centenarian-controls studies. Moreover, we hypothesize the susceptibility to the longevity phenotype may well be the result of complex interactions involving genes and environmental factors but also gender.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Forkhead Box Protein O3
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Haplotypes
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Linkage Disequilibrium / genetics
  • Longevity / genetics*
  • Male
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic
  • Middle Aged
  • Population Dynamics


  • FOXO3 protein, human
  • Forkhead Box Protein O3
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors