FOXO transcription factors throughout T cell biology

Nat Rev Immunol. 2012 Sep;12(9):649-61. doi: 10.1038/nri3278.


The outcome of an infection with any given pathogen varies according to the dosage and route of infection, but, in addition, the physiological state of the host can determine the efficacy of clearance, the severity of infection and the extent of immunopathology. Here we propose that the forkhead box O (FOXO) transcription factor family--which is central to the integration of growth factor signalling, oxidative stress and inflammation--provides connections between physical well-being and the form and magnitude of an immune response. We present a case that FOXO transcription factors guide T cell differentiation and function in a context-driven manner, and might provide a link between metabolism and immunity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational
  • Signal Transduction
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism*


  • Forkhead Transcription Factors