Modulation of SIRT1-Foxo1 signaling axis by resveratrol: implications in skeletal muscle aging and insulin resistance

Cell Physiol Biochem. 2015;35(2):541-52. doi: 10.1159/000369718. Epub 2015 Jan 27.


Aging individuals and diabetic patients often exhibit concomitant reductions of skeletal muscle mass/strength and insulin sensitivity, suggesting an intimate link between muscle aging and insulin resistance. Foxo1, a member of the FOXO transcription factor family, is an important player in insulin signaling due to its inhibitory role in glucose uptake and utilization in skeletal muscle. Phosphorylation of Foxo1 is thought to mitigate the transactivation of pyruvate dehydrogenase lipoamide kinase 4 (PDK4), which is a negative regulator of the glycolytic enzyme pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH). In contrast, how aging would regulate acetylation/deacetylation machineries and glucose utilization in skeletal muscle through the Foxo1/PDH axis remains largely undetermined. Accumulating body of evidence have shown that resveratrol, a natural polyphenol in grapes and red wine, activates the longevity-related protein sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) and augments insulin sensitivity in addition to its well-documented effects on mitochondrial energetics. The present review summarizes the role of Foxo1/SIRT1 in insulin signaling in skeletal muscle and proposes the insight that activation of SIRT1 deacetylase activity to deacetylate and suppress the Foxo1-induced transactivation of PDK4 may represent an anti-hyperglycemic mechanism of resveratrol in aging skeletal muscle.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cellular Senescence / drug effects*
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / drug effects*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Muscle, Skeletal / pathology
  • Resveratrol
  • Signal Transduction
  • Sirtuin 1 / metabolism*
  • Stilbenes / pharmacology*


  • Forkhead Transcription Factors
  • Stilbenes
  • Sirtuin 1
  • Resveratrol