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Primary microRNA processing assay reconstituted using recombinant Drosha and DGCR8.


In animals, the Microprocessor complex cleaves primary transcripts of microRNAs (pri-miRNAs) to produce precursor microRNAs in the nucleus. The core components of Microprocessor include the Drosha ribonuclease and its RNA-binding partner protein DiGeorge critical region 8 (DGCR8). DGCR8 has been shown to tightly bind an Fe(III) heme cofactor, which activates its pri-miRNA processing activity. Here we describe how to reconstitute pri-miRNA processing using recombinant human Drosha and DGCR8 proteins. In particular, we present the procedures for expressing and purifying DGCR8 as an Fe(III) heme-bound dimer, the most active form of this protein, and for estimating its heme content.

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