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Critical physiological and pathological functions of
Forkhead Box O tumor suppressors

DISCOVERIES (ISSN 2359-7232),2013, October-December

CITATION:
Dumitrascu GR, Bucur O. Critical physiological and pathological functions of Forkhead Box O tumor suppressors. Discoveries 2013, Oct-Dec; 1(1): e5.
DOI: 10.15190/d.2013.5

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Critical physiological and pathological functions of Forkhead Box O tumor suppressors


MD (1) and MD (2)*


Affiliation:
(1) “Victor Babes” National Institute of Pathology and Biomedical Sciences, Bucharest, Romania;
(2) Department of Pathology, Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA, USA;

Correspondence to: Dr. Octavian Bucur, Department of Pathology, Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, 330 Brookline Ave, Boston, MA, 02215, USA. E-mail: obucur@bidmc.harvard.edu.


Abstract

The Forkhead box, subclass O (FOXO) proteins are critical transcription factors, ubiquitously expressed in the human body. These proteins are characterized by a remarkable functional diversity, being involved in cell cycle arrest, apoptosis, oxidative detoxification, DNA damage repair, stem cell maintenance, cell differentiation, cell metabolism, angiogenesis, cardiac development, aging and others. In addition, FOXO have critical implications in both normal and cancer stem cell biology. New strategies to modulate FOXO expression and activity may now be developed since the discovery of novel FOXO regulators and non-coding RNAs (such as microRNAs) targeting FOXO transcription factors. This review focuses on physiological and pathological functions of FOXO proteins and on their action as fine regulators of cell fate and context-dependent cell decisions. A better understanding of the structure and critical functions of FOXO transcription factors and tumor suppressors may contribute to the development of novel therapies for cancer and other diseases.

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