Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Mol Cell Biol. 2008 Jun;28(11):3589-99. doi: 10.1128/MCB.00040-08. Epub 2008 Mar 24.

Musashi1 modulates mammary progenitor cell expansion through proliferin-mediated activation of the Wnt and Notch pathways.

Author information

  • 1Department of Oncology, Georgetown University, and Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Washington, DC 20007, USA.


The RNA-binding protein Musashi1 (Msi1) is a positive regulator of Notch-mediated transcription in Drosophila melanogaster and neural progenitor cells and has been identified as a putative human breast stem cell marker. Here we describe a novel functional role for Msi1: its ability to drive progenitor cell expansion along the luminal and myoepithelial lineages. Expression of Msi1 in mammary epithelial cells increases the abundance of CD24(hi) Sca-1(+), CD24(hi) CD29(+), CK19, CK6, and double-positive CK14/CK18 progenitor cells. Proliferation is associated with increased proliferin-1 (PLF1) and reduced Dickkopf-3 (DKK3) secretion into the conditioned medium from Msi-expressing cells, which is associated with increased colony formation and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) phosphorylation. Treatment with the MEK inhibitor U0126 inhibits ERK activation and decreases Notch and beta-catenin/T-cell factor (TCF) reporter activity resulting from Msi1 expression. Reduction of DKK3 in control cells with a short hairpin RNA (shRNA) increases Notch and beta-catenin/TCF activation, whereas reduction of PLF1 with a shRNA in Msi1-expressing cells inhibits these pathways. These results identify Msi1 as a key determinant of the mammary lineage through its ability to coordinate cell cycle entry and activate the Notch and Wnt pathways by a novel autocrine process involving PLF1 and DKK3.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk