Department of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology
Mao Zhu PhD image

Figure 1. RNase III Drosha, Stress, and Neuronal Viability

Nuclear RNase III enzyme Drosha controls the biogenesis of miRNAs and is important for cellular survival, which is symbolized by the vivid flowers and leaves in bright colors. Our studies show that various stress conditions inhibit Drosha activity through p38 MAPK-dependent degradation.  Loss of Drosha sensitizes cells to stress and triggers their death, which is represented by the withered flowers and leaves in white and gray. We are now pursuing the role and regulation of Drosha in neuronal stress and pathogenesis in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.