The forkhead box O (FoxO) transcription factor family is a key player in an evolutionary conserved pathway downstream of insulin and insulin-like growth factor receptors. The mammalian FoxO family consists of FoxO1, 3, 4 and 6, which share high similarity in their structure, function and regulation. FoxO proteins are involved in diverse cellular and physiological processes including cell proliferation, apoptosis, reactive oxygen species (ROS) response, longevity, cancer and regulation of cell cycle and metabolism. The regulation of FoxO protein function involves an intricate network of posttranslational modifications and protein-protein interactions that provide integrated cellular response to changing physiological conditions and cues. AKT was identified in early genetic and biochemical studies as a main regulator of FoxO function in diverse organisms. Though other FoxO regulatory pathways and mechanisms have been delineated since, AKT remains a key regulator of the pathway. The present review summarizes the current knowledge of FoxO regulation by AKT and 14-3-3 proteins, focusing on its mechanistic and structural aspects and discusses its crosstalk with the other FoxO regulatory mechanisms. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: PI3K-AKT-FoxO axis in cancer and aging.
2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.