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Cell proliferation, apoptosis, autophagy, oxidative stress and metabolic dysregulation are the basis of many diseases. Forkhead box transcription factor O1 (FOXO1) changes in response to cellular stimulation and maintains tissue homeostasis during the above-mentioned physiological and pathological processes. Substantial evidences indicate that FOXO1’s function depends on the modulation of downstream targets such as apoptosis- and autophagy-associated genes, anti-oxidative stress enzymes, cell cycle arrest genes, and metabolic and immune regulators. In addition, oxidative stress, high glucose and other stimulations induce the regulation of FOXO1 activity via PI3k-Akt, JNK, CBP, Sirtuins, ubiquitin E3 ligases, etc., which mediate multiple signalling pathways. Subsequent post-transcriptional modifications, including phosphorylation, ubiquitination, acetylation, deacetylation, arginine methylation and O-GlcNAcylation, activate or inhibit FOXO1. The regulation of FOXO1 and its role might provide a significant avenue for the prevention and treatment of diseases. However, the subtle mechanisms of the post-transcriptional modifications and the effect of FOXO1 remain elusive and even conflicting in the development of many diseases. The determination of these questions potentially has implications for further research regarding FOXO1 signalling and the identification of targeted drugs.