RNA-binding protein, musashi1 (MSI1), is a main protein in asymmetric cell division of the sensory organ precursor cells, whereas its expression is reported to be upregulated in cancers. This protein is a critical element in proliferation of stem and cancer stem cells, which acts through Wnt and Notch signaling pathways. Moreover, MSI1 modulates malignancy and chemoresistance of lung cancer cells via activating the Akt signaling. Due to the main role of MSI1 in metastasis and cancer development, MSI1 would be an appropriate candidate for cancer therapy. Downregulation of MSI1 inhibits proliferation of cancer stem cells and reduces the growth of solid tumors in several cancers. On the other hand, MSI1 expression is regulated by microRNAs in such a way that several different tumor suppressor miRNAs negatively regulate oncogenic MSI1 and inhibit migration and tumor metastasis. The aim of this review is summarizing the role of MSI1 in stem cell proliferation and cancer promotion.