The Musashi family of RNA binding proteins: Master regulators of multiple stem cell populations

Jessie M. Sutherland, Eileen A. McLaughlin, Gary R. Hime, Nicole A. Siddall

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapterpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


In order to maintain their unlimited capacity to divide, stem cells require controlled temporal and spatial protein expression. The Musashi family of RNA-binding proteins have been shown to exhibit this necessary translational control through both repression and activation in order to regulate multiple stem cell populations. This chapter looks in depth at the initial discovery and characterisation of Musashi in the model organism Drosophila, and its subsequent emergence as a master regulator in a number of stem cell populations. Furthermore the unique roles for mammalian Musashi-1 and Musashi-2 in different stem cell types are correlated with the perceived diagnostic power of Musashi expression in specific stem cell derived oncologies. In particular the potential role for Musashi in the identification and treatment of human cancer is considered, with a focus on the role of Musashi-2 in leukaemia. Finally, the manipulation of Musashi expression is proposed as a potential avenue towards the targeted treatment of specific aggressive stem cell cancers.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTranscriptional and Translational Regulation of Stem Cells
EditorsGary Hime, Helen Abud
Place of PublicationNetherlands
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9789400766211
ISBN (Print)9789400766204
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
ISSN (Print)0065-2598


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