Mitochondria play a central role in several important cellular processes such as energy production, apoptosis, fatty acid catabolism, calcium regulation, and cellular stress response. Multiple nuclear transcription factors have been reported for their role in the regulation of mitochondrial gene expression. More recently, the role of the forkhead family of transcription factors in various mitochondrial pathways has been reported. Among them, FOXO1, FOXO3a, FOXG1, and FOXM1 have been reported to localize to the mitochondria, of which the first two have been observed to bind to the mitochondrial D-loop. This suggests an important role for forkhead transcription factors in the direct regulation of the mitochondrial genome and function. Forkheads such as FOXO3a, FOXO1, and FOXM1 are involved in the cellular response to oxidative stress, hypoxia, and nutrient limitation. Several members of the forkhead family of transcription factors are also involved in the regulation of nuclear-encoded genes associated with the mitochondrial pathway of apoptosis, respiration, mitochondrial dynamics, and homeostasis.
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