Musashi1, a neural RNA-binding protein, plays an important role in regulating cell differentiation in precursor cells. Musashi-1 (Msi-1) has been shown to increase the accumulation of tau isoforms in intracellular inclusions in dementia and Parkinson's. The presence of Msi-1 in a significant percentage of neurons containing cytoplasmic inclusions in 2 other neurodegenerative diseases Alzheimer's disease and Pick disease suggests that it may play a role in the pathogenesis of these neurodegenerative disorders.
Musashi1 has also been detected in human tumor tissues such as gliomas and melanomas, suggesting its involvement in cancer development. Msi-1 also appears to play be an vital role in the development of several types of carcinoma such as human hepatoma, and may be a useful molecular marker for tumor detection.
Image: Musashi-positive cells in the ventricular zone of E14.5 mouse medulla. Picture was taken at 200x magnification. The sections are 4% PFA fixed, paraffin-embedded and cut at 5 micron. Courtesy of Xi Huang, Chiang Lab, VUMC
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