FOXO nuclear shuttling dynamics are stimulus-dependent and correspond with cell fate

Kathleen A. Lasick, Elizabeth Jose, Allison M. Samayoa, Lisa Shanks, Kelvin W. Pond, Curtis A. Thorne, Andrew L. Paek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


FOXO transcription factors are regulators of cellular homeostasis linked to increased lifespan and tumor suppression. FOXOs are activated by diverse cell stresses including serum starvation and oxidative stress. FOXO activity is regulated through posttranslational modifications that control shuttling of FOXO proteins to the nucleus. In the nucleus, FOXOs up-regulate genes in multiple, often conflicting pathways, including cell-cycle arrest and apoptosis. How cells control FOXO activity to ensure the proper response for a given stress is an open question. Using quantitative immunofluorescence and live-cell imaging, we found that the dynamics of FOXO nuclear shuttling is stimulus-dependent and corresponds with cell fate. H2O2 treatment leads to an all-or-none response where some cells show no nuclear FOXO accumulation, while other cells show a strong nuclear FOXO signal. The time that FOXO remains in the nucleus increases with the dose and is linked with cell death. In contrast, serum starvation causes low-amplitude pulses of nuclear FOXO and predominantly results in cell-cycle arrest. The accumulation of FOXO in the nucleus is linked with low AKT activity for both H2O2 and serum starvation. Our findings suggest the dynamics of FOXO nuclear shuttling is one way in which the FOXO pathway dictates different cellular outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalMolecular biology of the cell
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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