DGCR8 HITS-CLIP reveals novel functions for the Microprocessor

Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2012 Aug;19(8):760-6. doi: 10.1038/nsmb.2344. Epub 2012 Jul 15.


The Drosha-DGCR8 complex (Microprocessor) is required for microRNA (miRNA) biogenesis. DGCR8 recognizes the RNA substrate, whereas Drosha functions as the endonuclease. Using high-throughput sequencing and cross-linking immunoprecipitation (HITS-CLIP) we identified RNA targets of DGCR8 in human cells. Unexpectedly, miRNAs were not the most abundant targets. DGCR8-bound RNAs also comprised several hundred mRNAs as well as small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs) and long noncoding RNAs. We found that the Microprocessor controlled the abundance of several mRNAs as well as of MALAT1. By contrast, DGCR8-mediated cleavage of snoRNAs was independent of Drosha, suggesting the involvement of DGCR8 in cellular complexes with other endonucleases. Binding of DGCR8 to cassette exons is a new mechanism for regulation of the relative abundance of alternatively spliced isoforms. These data provide insights in the complex role of DGCR8 in controlling the fate of several classes of RNAs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alternative Splicing
  • Gene Knockout Techniques
  • HEK293 Cells
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
  • Humans
  • Immunoprecipitation
  • Multiprotein Complexes / genetics
  • Multiprotein Complexes / metabolism
  • Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Proteins / genetics
  • Proteins / metabolism*
  • RNA Processing, Post-Transcriptional
  • RNA Stability
  • RNA, Long Noncoding
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • RNA, Small Interfering / genetics
  • RNA, Small Nucleolar / genetics
  • RNA, Small Nucleolar / metabolism
  • RNA, Untranslated / genetics
  • RNA, Untranslated / metabolism
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • Ribonuclease III / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Ribonuclease III / genetics
  • Ribonuclease III / metabolism*


  • DGCR8 protein, human
  • MALAT1 long non-coding RNA, human
  • Multiprotein Complexes
  • Proteins
  • RNA, Long Noncoding
  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • RNA, Small Nucleolar
  • RNA, Untranslated
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • DROSHA protein, human
  • Ribonuclease III

Associated data

  • GEO/GSE39086