The longevity SNP rs2802292 uncovered: HSF1 activates stress-dependent expression of FOXO3 through an intronic enhancer

Valentina Grossi, Giovanna Forte, Paola Sanese, Alessia Peserico, Tugsan Tezil, Martina Lepore Signorile, Candida Fasano, Rosaura Lovaglio, Rosanna Bagnulo, Daria C Loconte, Francesco C Susca, Nicoletta Resta, Cristiano Simone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The HSF and FOXO families of transcription factors play evolutionarily conserved roles in stress resistance and lifespan. In humans, the rs2802292 G-allele at FOXO3 locus has been associated with longevity in all human populations tested; moreover, its copy number correlated with reduced frequency of age-related diseases in centenarians. At the molecular level, the intronic rs2802292 G-allele correlated with increased expression of FOXO3, suggesting that FOXO3 intron 2 may represent a regulatory region. Here we show that the 90-bp sequence around the intronic single nucleotide polymorphism rs2802292 has enhancer functions, and that the rs2802292 G-allele creates a novel HSE binding site for HSF1, which induces FOXO3 expression in response to diverse stress stimuli. At the molecular level, HSF1 mediates the occurrence of a promoter-enhancer interaction at FOXO3 locus involving the 5'UTR and the rs2802292 region. These data were confirmed in various cellular models including human HAP1 isogenic cell lines (G/T). Our functional studies highlighted the importance of the HSF1-FOXO3-SOD2/CAT/GADD45A cascade in cellular stress response and survival by promoting ROS detoxification, redox balance and DNA repair. Our findings suggest the existence of an HSF1-FOXO3 axis in human cells that could be involved in stress response pathways functionally regulating lifespan and disease susceptibility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5587-5600
Number of pages14
JournalNucleic Acids Research
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Jun 20 2018


Dive into the research topics of 'The longevity SNP rs2802292 uncovered: HSF1 activates stress-dependent expression of FOXO3 through an intronic enhancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this