Please note: The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio will now be called "UT Health San Antonio."

Search Program Faculty/Research

Manjeet K. Rao, Ph.D.



Research in Dr. Manjeet Rao's laboratory is directed towards understanding the molecular mechanism of oncogenesis in adult cancers (breast and ovarian cancer) as well as in pediatric tumors (pediatric renal tumor and acute lymphoblastic leukemia). We are particularly interested in studying the role of molecules/factors such as non-coding RNAs "micro RNAs" and epigenetic modulators (polycomb group of proteins) in tumor growth and progression, which are otherwise crucial for normal cell proliferation and differentiation. Recently, we have discovered a novel miRNA that acts as a potent tumor suppressor by inhibiting expression of Six1 homeobox gene, a potent oncogene known to be overexpressed in several aggressive solid tumors including breast cancer, ovarian cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma, rhabdomyosarcoma and Wilms' tumors. We are currently investigating the role of this tumor suppressor miRNA (and other miRNA/s that we have identified) in normal cell growth and the molecular mechanism by which their expression is altered in tumor.

Selected Publications

Bansal S, Plyler JR, Panneerdoss S and Rao MK. EZH2-miRNA regulatory loop regulates tum microenvironment to support breast cancer migration and invasion (in preparation) Genes & Development (to be submitted) 2013 Dec;.

Bansal H, Yihua Q, Ganapathy S, Penalva LO, Proia D, Tomlinson GE, Rao MK, Kornblau SM, Bansal S. Novel Oncogenic role for WTAP in acute myeloid leukemia Leukemia (re-submitted with minor revision) 2013 Jun;.

Mishra S, Deng JJ, Gowda PS, Rao MK, Chun-Lin Lin, Chun-Liang Chen, Huang T and Sun LZ. Androgen Receptor and MicroRNA-21 axis down-regulates transforming growth factor beta receptor II (TGFBR2) expression in Prostate Cancer Oncogene (in press) 2013 May;.

Meng J, Cui X, Rao MK, Chen Y, Huang Y. Exome-based analysis for RNA epigenome sequencing data. Bioinformatics. 2013 Jun 15;29(12):1565-7.

Roy SS, Gonugunta VK, Bandyopadhyay A, Rao MK, Goodall GJ, Sun LZ, Tekmal RR, Vadlamudi RK. Significance of PELP1/HDAC2/miR-200 regulatory network in EMT and metastasis of breast cancer. Oncogene. 2013 Aug 26.

Mishra S, Deng JJ, Gowda PS, Rao MK, Lin CL, Chen CL, Huang T, Sun LZ. Androgen receptor and microRNA-21 axis downregulates transforming growth factor beta receptor II (TGFBR2) expression in prostate cancer. doi: 10.1038/onc.2013.374.

MacLean JA 2nd, Hu Z, Welborn JP, Song HW, Rao MK, Wayne CM, Wilkinson MF. The RHOX homeodomain proteins regulate the expression of insulin and other metabolic regulators in the testis. J Biol Chem. 2013 Nov 29;288(48):34809-25.

Chang YF, Lee-Chang JS, Imam JS, Buddavarapu KC, Subaran SS, Sinha-Hikim AP, Gorospe M, Rao MK. Interaction between microRNAs and actin-associated protein Arpc5 regulates translational suppression during male germ cell differentiation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Apr 10;109(15):5750-5.

Assistant Professor

Cell Systems and Anatomy/GCCRI


Ph.D., Molecular Endocrinology, University of Delhi, 1998

M.S., Zoology, University of Delhi, 1991

B.S., Zoology, University of Delhi, 1989



Phone: 210-562-9119

Research Profile
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Graduate Students

Pooja Yadav

Nourhan Abdelfattah