Musashi 2 (MSI2) expression as an independent prognostic biomarker in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)

Iuliia Topchu, Nikolai Karnaukhov, Alexandra Mazitova, Veronika Yugai, Mark Voloshin, Mariya Tikhomirova, Oleg Kit, Elena Frantsiyants, Leonid Kharin, Tamara Airapetova, Ekaterina Ratner, Alexey Sabirov, Zinaida Abramova, Iliya Serebriiskii, Yanis Boumber, Alexander Deneka*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Musashi-2 (MSI2) is a member of RNA-binding protein family that regulates mRNA translation of numerous intracellular targets and influences maintenance of stem cell identity. This study assessed MSI2 as a potential clinical biomarker in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Methods: The current study included 40 patients with NSCLC, of whom one presented with stage 1, 14 presented with stage II, 15 presented with stage III, and 10 patients had stage IV. All patients received standard of care treatments. All patient samples were obtained before treatment started. We used immunohistochemical (IHC) approach to measure MSI2 protein expression in matching specimens of normal lung versus tumor tissues, and primary versus metastatic tumors, followed by correlative analysis in relation to clinical outcomes. In parallel, clinical correlative analysis of MSI2 mRNA expression was performed in silico using publicly available datasets (TCGA/ICGC and KM plots). Results: MSI2 protein expression in patient samples was significantly elevated in NSCLC primary tumors versus normal lung tissue (P=0.03). MSI2 elevated expression positively correlated with a decreased progression free survival (PFS) (P=0.026) combined for all stages and with overall survival (OS) at stage IV (P=0.013). Elevated MSI2 expression on RNA level was confirmed in primary tumor versus normal tissue samples in TCGA dataset (P<0.0001), and positively correlated with decreased OS (P=0.02). No correlation was observed between MSI2 expression and age, sex, smoking, and treatment type. Conclusions: Elevated MSI2 expression in primary NSCLC tumors is associated with poor prognosis and can be used as a novel potential prognostic biomarker in NSCLC patients. Future studies in an extended patient cohort are warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1370-1379
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Thoracic Disease
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Musashi-2 (MSI2)
  • Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)
  • Overall survival (OS)
  • Prediction biomarkers
  • RNA binding proteins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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