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A protein complex that binds to heme and to pri-miRNAs, and is required for the formation of a pre-microRNA (pre-miRNA), the initial step of microRNA (miRNA) biogenesis. The complex is composed of the double-stranded-RNA-specific RNase Drosha (also called RNASEN) and the RNA-binding protein DGCR8 (heme-free or heme-bound forms). Within the complex, DGCR8 function as a molecular anchor necessary for the recognition of pri-miRNA at dsRNA-ssRNA junction and directs RNASEN/Drosha to cleave the 3' and 5' strands of a stem-loop to release hairpin-shaped pre-miRNAs.