Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California


UC San Francisco Previously Published Works bannerUCSF

Inactivating mutations in Drosha mediate vascular abnormalities similar to hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia.


The transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) and bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) family of cytokines critically regulates vascular morphogenesis and homeostasis. Impairment of TGF-β or BMP signaling leads to heritable vascular disorders, including hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT). Drosha, a key enzyme for microRNA (miRNA) biogenesis, also regulates the TGF-β and BMP pathway through interaction with Smads and their joint control of gene expression through miRNAs. We report that mice lacking Drosha in the vascular endothelium developed a vascular phenotype resembling HHT that included dilated and disorganized vasculature, arteriovenous fistulae, and hemorrhages. Exome sequencing of HHT patients who lacked known pathogenic mutations revealed an overrepresentation of rare nonsynonymous variants of DROSHA Two of these DROSHA variants (P100L and R279L) did not interact with Smads and were partially catalytically active. In zebrafish, expression of these mutants or morpholino-directed knockdown of Drosha resulted in angiogenesis defects and abnormal vascular permeability. Together, our studies point to an essential role of Drosha in vascular development and the maintenance of vascular integrity, and reveal a previously unappreciated link between Drosha dysfunction and HHT.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View