FOXO family transcription factors are downstream effectors of Insulin/IGF-1 signaling (IIS) and are regulated by posttranslational modification and coregulators, including components of the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS). Cofactors promoting DAF-16/FOXO protein stability and function in IIS have not been described yet. In a recent study, we have identified the deubiquitylating enzyme MATH-33, the ortholog of mammalian USP7/HAUSP, as an essential DAF-16 coregulator. We found that MATH-33 actively stabilizes DAF-16 protein levels when IIS is downregulated. Here we discuss how DAF-16/FOXO transcription factors are regulated by the UPS, in particular by the interplay of E3-ubiquitin ligases and deubiquitylating enzymes, which is critical for balancing DAF-16/FOXO activity and degradation. Recent findings raise the intriguing possibility that regulated oscillations in DAF-16/FOXO steady state levels play an integral role in mechanisms controlling healthspan and lifespan extension.
Keywords: DAF-16; DUB; FOXO; HAUSP; Insulin/IGF-1 signaling; MATH-33; RLE-1; USP7; aging; deubiquitinating enzyme; longevity; ubiquitin proteasome system.