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J Biol Chem. 2004 Jul 9;279(28):28873-9. Epub 2004 May 4.

FOXO4 is acetylated upon peroxide stress and deacetylated by the longevity protein hSir2(SIRT1).

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Department of Physiological Chemistry, Center for Biomedical Genetics, University Medical Center Utrecht, 3584 CG Utrecht, The Netherlands.


FOXO transcription factors have important roles in metabolism, cellular proliferation, stress tolerance, and aging. FOXOs are negatively regulated by protein kinase B/c-Akt-mediated phosphorylation. Here we show that FOXO factors are also subject to regulation by reversible acetylation. We provide evidence that the acetyltransferase CREB-binding protein (CBP) binds FOXO resulting in acetylation of FOXO. This acetylation inhibits FOXO transcriptional activity. Binding of CBP and acetylation are induced after treatment of cells with peroxide stress. Deacetylation of FOXOs involves binding of the NAD-dependent deacetylase hSir2(SIRT1). Accordingly, hSir2(SIRT1)-mediated deacetylation precludes FOXO inhibition through acetylation and thereby prolongs FOXO-dependent transcription of stress-regulating genes. These data demonstrate that acetylation functions in a second pathway of negative control for FOXO factors and provides a novel mechanism whereby hSir2(SIRT1) can promote cellular survival and increase lifespan.

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