Maninjay K Atianand, MBBS, PhD

  • Assistant Professor, Department of Immunology

Education & Training

  • Postdoctoral Training, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • PhD, Albany Medical College
  • MBBS, Grant Medical College Mumbai (India)

Research Interest Summary

Inflammation, Innate Immunity, Macrophage, lncRNA, gene regulatory mechanisms

Research Interests

The overarching goal of our research is to discover and characterize the role of novel long noncoding RNAs (lncRNA) and microproteins in innate immunity, inflammation and host-pathogen interaction. Of the roughly 3 billion bases in the human genome, only 1.5-2% of the genome is dedicated to protein-coding genes. The vast majority of our genome, however, is transcriptionally active and produce thousands of lncRNAs in specific cells and tissues. lncRNAs are non-protein-coding transcripts that mediate their biological activities in an RNA-dependent manner to regulate gene expression at either the transcriptional or post-transcriptional level. While some of these lncRNAs play critical roles in biological contexts ranging from X chromosome inactivation (Xist) and cell development (HOTTIP) to human diseases including cancer (HOTAIR) and autoimmunity, the biological roles of the vast majority of lncRNAs are largely unknown. Our research is aimed at bridging this gap in knowledge by mapping cell-specific lncRNA transcriptomes in immune cells such as macrophages by RNA-sequencing, and uncovering their function and the mechanism using biochemical, molecular and genetic approaches.

Some ongoing projects:

1. Functional screening of lncRNA in human macrophage using CRISPR-Cas9 and ASOs
2. Elucidate the role of LUCAT1 in cancer cells and tumor microenvironment
3. Determine the function of novel microproteins in macrophages
4. Application of RNA-directed proteomics to host-virus interaction


Santoso CS, Li Z, Lal S, Yuan S, Gan KA, Agosto LM, Liu X, Pro SC, Sewell JA, Henderson A, Atianand MK, Fuxman Bass JI. Comprehensive mapping of the human cytokine gene regulatory network. Nucleic Acids Res. 2020 Dec 2;48(21):12055-12073. PMID: 33179750.

Atianand MK, Hu W, Satpathy AT, Shen Y, Ricci EP, Alvarez-Dominguez JR, et al. A Long Noncoding RNA lincRNA-EPS Acts as a Transcriptional Brake to Restrain Inflammation. Cell 2016, 165(7): 1672-1685, PMID: 27315481

Atianand MK, Caffrey DR and Fitzgerald KA. Immunobiology of long noncoding RNAs. Annual Reviews in Immunology 2017 Apr 26; 35:177-198. PMID: 28125358

Chan J, Atianand MK, Jiang Z, Carpenter S, Aiello D, Elling R, et al. Cutting Edge: A Natural Antisense Transcript, AS-IL1alpha, Controls Inducible Transcription of the Proinflammatory Cytokine IL-1alpha. J Immunol 2015, 195(4): 1359-1363, PMID: 26179904

Periasamy S, Porter KA, Atianand MK, T Le H, Earley S, Duffy EB, Haller MC, Chin H, Harton JA. Pyrin-only protein 2 limits inflammation but improves protection against bacteria. Nat Commun. 2017 Jun 5; 8:15564. PMID: 28580947

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