Purpose of review: Recent work has shown that the Musashi 2 (Msi2) gene plays important roles in normal and malignant hematopoiesis. Here, we give an overview on the role of Msi2 in the regulation and function of primitive hematopoietic cells as well as in leukaemic progression. We also discuss the molecular pathways in which Msi2 acts in both normal and leukaemic blood cells.
Recent findings: Msi2 gain and loss of function experiments have shown that it plays an important role in regulating the heamatopoietic stem cell pool. Msi2 has also been found to be overexpressed in human myeloid leukaemias correlating with poor prognosis, therefore Msi2 may be considered as a prognostic marker for acute myeloid leukaemia.
Summary: Further studies into the molecular pathways through which Msi2 modulates primitive progenitor function will provide insight into the regulation of normal haematopoiesis and a better understanding of the mechanisms governing the leukaemic transformation process. This will be crucial for the development of effective therapies.