Mouse-Musashi-1, a neural RNA-Binding protein highly enriched in the mammalian CNS stem cell

Shin Ichi Sakakibara, Takao Imai, Kayoko Hamaguchi, Masataka Okabe, Jun Aruga, Kazunori Nakajima, Daisuke Yasutomi, Takashi Nagata, Yasuyuki Kurihara, Seiichi Uesugi, Takaki Miyata, Masaharu Ogawa, Katsuhiko Mikoshiba, Hideyuki Okano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

477 Citations (Scopus)


There is increasing interest in the role of RNA-binding proteins during neural development. Drosophila Musashi is one of the neural RNA-binding proteins essential for neural development and required for asymmetric cell divisions in the Drosophila adult sensory organ development. Here, a novel mammalian neural RNA-binding protein, mouse Musashi-1, was identified based on the homology to Drosophila Musashi and Xenopus NRP-1. In the developing CNS, mouse-Musashi-1 protein was highly enriched in the CNS stem cell. Single-cell culture experiments indicated that mouse Musashi-1 expression is associated with neural precursor cells that are capable of generating neurons and glia. In contrast, in fully differentiated neuronal and glial cells mouse-Musashi-1 expression is lost. This expression pattern of mouse-Musashi-1 is complementary to that of another mammalian neural RNA-binding protein, Hu (a mammalian homologue of a Drosophila neuronal RNA-binding protein Elav), that is expressed in postmitotic neurons within the CNS. In vitro studies indicated that mouse-Musashi-1 possesses binding preferences on poly(G) RNA homopolymer, whereas Hu is known to preferentially bind to short A/U-rich regions in RNA. Based on their differential expression patterns and distinct preferential target RNA sequences, we believe that the mouse-Musashi-1 and Hu proteins may play distinct roles in neurogenesis, either through sequential regulatory mechanisms or differential sorting of mRNA populations during asymmetric division of neural precursor cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230-242
Number of pages13
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1996 Jun 15
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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