Musashi1: An RBP with versatile functions in normal and cancer stem cells

Robert I. Glazer, Dat T. Vo, Luiz O.F. Penalva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Musashi1 (Msi1) is a highly conserved RNA binding protein that was initially identified in Drosophila by its ability to regulate sensory organ development and asymmetric cell division. Studies in mammalian cells reveal multiple functions for Musashi1 in normal and abnormal processes by mediating different posttranscriptional processes. According to our recent studies, Musashi1 very likely controls hundreds of targets, forming networks that regulate apoptosis, differentiation, proliferation and cell cycle. Musashi1 is a characteristic stem cell marker that regulates the balance between selfrenewal and differentiation. Over-expression of Musashi1 has been associated with numerous tumor types and its function is required for tumor growth in breast, colon, medulloblastoma and glioblastoma. Musashi1 has also been implicated in neurogenesis and neurodegenerative diseases, and is emerging as a potential therapeutic target in both regenerative medicine and cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-64
Number of pages11
JournalFrontiers in Bioscience
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012


  • Cancer
  • Cancer Stem Cell
  • Musashi1
  • Nervous System Development
  • Neurological Disease
  • Post-Transcriptional Gene Regulation
  • RNA-Binding Protein
  • Review
  • Ribonomics
  • Splicing
  • Stem Cell
  • Translational Regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology


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