When overexpressed, the NAD-dependent protein deacetylase Sir2 extends the lifespan of both budding yeast and the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans. In the worm, this extension of lifespan requires the FOXO transcription factor daf-16. Three recent articles focusing on mammalian homologues of Sir2 and FOXO have highlighted the mechanisms that generate this genetic interaction. Mammalian SIRT1 deacetylates FOXO3 and/or FOXO4, thus attenuating FOXO-induced apoptosis and potentiating FOXO-induced cell-cycle arrest. SIRT1 might increase longevity by shifting FOXO dependent responses away from cell death and towards cell survival.