Glucokinase (GK) plays a key role in the regulation of glucose use and glucose-stimulated insulin secretion in pancreatic islet cells. Gene targeting of the IGF-I receptor down-regulated pancreatic islet GK activity. That finding prompted us to examine the potential mechanism that may control GK gene activity using an islet cell line, INS-1, known to express IGF-I receptor. Exposure of these cells to IGF-I induced GK protein expression and activity of the enzyme in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, IGF-I induced activity of a reporter construct containing the GK promoter in parallel with the effect on endogenous GK mRNA levels. The stimulatory effect of IGF-I on GK promoter activity was abrogated by wortmannin and LY294002, specific inhibitors of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase. Exposure of cells to IGF-I elicited a rapid phosphorylation of Akt and FoxO1, a known target of Akt signaling. Constitutively active Akt stimulates the activity of the GK promoter, and a dominant-negative mutant of Akt or mutagenesis of a FoxO1 response element in the GK promoter abolished the ability of IGF-I to stimulate the promoter activity. Furthermore, cell knockdown of FoxO1 with small interfering RNA disrupted the effect of IGF-I on GK expression. These results demonstrate that the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt/FoxO1 pathway contributes to the regulation of GK gene expression in response to IGF-I stimulation.