The Many Forks in FOXO's Road

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Science's STKE  04 Mar 2003:
Vol. 2003, Issue 172, pp. re5
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2003.172.re5

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Many biological processes require the expression of new genes. A cell's ability to express new genes is controlled by proteins called transcription factors. One such family of transcription factors is the winged helix or Forkhead family of transcriptional regulators, of which the FOXO transcription factors are a subgroup. The FOXO subfamily of transcription factors can control various biological processes, including glucose metabolism, stress response, cell cycle regulation, and cell death, by regulating gene expression. At the organismal level, the regulation of gene expression by FOXO transcription factors is believed to play a role in pathological processes ranging from cancer and diabetes to organismal aging. A number of studies have shed light on how the FOXO transcription factors themselves are regulated and have also identified the gene targets controlled by FOXO transcription factors.