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Staff at EMBL

Dr. Ramesh Pillai

Group Leader
Pillai Group Joint appointment: Genome Biology Unit
Joint appointment: EMBL Monterotondo

EMBL Grenoble, 71 avenue des Martyrs, CS 90181, 38042 Grenoble Cedex 9, France

E-mail: send a mail


PhD 2002, University of Bern.
Postdoctoral research at the Friedrich Miescher Institute, Basel.
Group Leader at EMBL Grenoble since 2006.
ERC Investigator.


Primary piRNA biogenesis: caught up in a Maelstrom. Pandey, R.R. & Pillai, R.S. EMBO J. 2014 Aug 22. pii: e201489670. Europe PMC

RNA clamping by Vasa assembles a piRNA amplifier complex on transposon transcripts. Xiol, J., Spinelli, P., Laussmann, M.A., Homolka, D., Yang, Z., Cora, E., Coute, Y., Conn, S., Kadlec, J., Sachidanandam, R., Kaksonen, M., Cusack, S., Ephrussi, A. & Pillai, R.S. Cell. 2014 Jun 19;157(7):1698-711. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2014.05.018. Epub 2014 Jun5. Europe PMC

The MID-PIWI module of Piwi proteins specifies nucleotide- and strand-biases of piRNAs. Cora, E., Pandey, R.R., Xiol, J., Taylor, J., Sachidanandam, R., McCarthy, A.A. & Pillai, R.S. RNA. 2014 Jun;20(6):773-81. doi: 10.1261/rna.044701.114. Epub 2014 Apr 22. Europe PMC

Impact of nuclear Piwi elimination on chromatin state in Drosophila melanogaster ovaries. Klenov, M.S., Lavrov, S.A., Korbut, A.P., Stolyarenko, A.D., Yakushev, E.Y., Reuter, M., Pillai, R.S. & Gvozdev, V.A. Nucleic Acids Res. 2014;42(10):6208-18. doi: 10.1093/nar/gku268. Epub 2014 Apr29. Europe PMC

Analysis of small RNA-guided endonuclease activity in endogenous Piwi protein complexes from mouse testes. Reuter, M. & Pillai, R.S. Methods Mol Biol. 2014;1093:111-21. doi: 10.1007/978-1-62703-694-8_9. Europe PMC

Tudor domain containing 12 (TDRD12) is essential for secondary PIWI interacting RNA biogenesis in mice. Pandey, R.R., Tokuzawa, Y., Yang, Z., Hayashi, E., Ichisaka, T., Kajita, S., Asano, Y., Kunieda, T., Sachidanandam, R., Chuma, S., Yamanaka, S. & Pillai, R.S. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Oct 8;110(41):16492-7. doi:10.1073/pnas.1316316110. Epub 2013 Sep 25. Europe PMC

[The piRNAs forge an immune system for the genome]. Muller, S., Raman Pandey, R. & Pillai, R.S. Med Sci (Paris). 2013 May;29(5):487-94. doi: 10.1051/medsci/2013295011. Epub 2013May 28. Europe PMC

Crystal structure of the primary piRNA biogenesis factor Zucchini reveals similarity to the bacterial PLD endonuclease Nuc. Voigt, F., Reuter, M., Kasaruho, A., Schulz, E.C., Pillai, R.S. & Barabas, O. RNA. 2012 Dec;18(12):2128-34. doi: 10.1261/rna.034967.112. Epub 2012 Oct 19. Europe PMC

The multiple Tudor domain-containing protein TDRD1 is a molecular scaffold for mouse Piwi proteins and piRNA biogenesis factors. Mathioudakis, N., Palencia, A., Kadlec, J., Round, A., Tripsianes, K., Sattler, M., Pillai, R.S. & Cusack, S. RNA. 2012 Nov;18(11):2056-72. doi: 10.1261/rna.034181.112. Epub 2012 Sep 20. Europe PMC

A Role for Fkbp6 and the Chaperone Machinery in piRNA Amplification and Transposon Silencing. Xiol, J., Cora, E., Koglgruber, R., Chuma, S., Subramanian, S., Hosokawa, M., Reuter, M., Yang, Z., Berninger, P., Palencia, A., Benes, V., Penninger, J., Sachidanandam, R. & Pillai, R.S. Mol Cell. 2012 Sep 28;47(6):970-9. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2012.07.019. Epub 2012Aug 16. Europe PMC

Molecular biology. Outsourcing genome protection. Xiol, J. & Pillai, R.S. Science. 2012 Aug 3;337(6094):529-30. Europe PMC

piRNAs and their involvement in male germline development in mice. Pillai, R.S. & Chuma, S. Dev Growth Differ. 2012 Jan;54(1):78-92. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-169X.2011.01320.x.Epub 2012 Jan 6. Europe PMC

Miwi catalysis is required for piRNA amplification-independent LINE1 transposon silencing. Reuter, M., Berninger, P., Chuma, S., Shah, H., Hosokawa, M., Funaya, C., Antony, C., Sachidanandam, R. & Pillai, R.S. Nature. 2011 Nov 27;480(7376):264-7. doi: 10.1038/nature10672. Europe PMC

Tudor domain containing 7 (Tdrd7) is essential for dynamic ribonucleoprotein (RNP) remodeling of chromatoid bodies during spermatogenesis. Tanaka, T., Hosokawa, M., Vagin, V.V., Reuter, M., Hayashi, E., Mochizuki, A.L., Kitamura, K., Yamanaka, H., Kondoh, G., Okawa, K., Kuramochi-Miyagawa, S., Nakano, T., Sachidanandam, R., Hannon, G.J., Pillai, R.S., Nakatsuji, N. & Chuma, S. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Jun 28;108(26):10579-84. Epub 2011 Jun 13. Europe PMC

Recognition of 2'-O-methylated 3'-end of piRNA by the PAZ domain of a Piwi protein. Simon, B., Kirkpatrick, J.P., Eckhardt, S., Reuter, M., Rocha, E.A., Andrade-Navarro, M.A., Sehr, P., Pillai, R.S. & Carlomagno, T. Structure. 2011 Feb 9;19(2):172-80. Epub 2011 Jan 20. Europe PMC

Mouse MOV10L1 associates with Piwi proteins and is an essential component of the Piwi-interacting RNA (piRNA) pathway. Zheng, K., Xiol, J., Reuter, M., Eckardt, S., Leu, N.A., McLaughlin, K.J., Stark, A., Sachidanandam, R., Pillai, R.S. & Wang, P.J. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Jun 29;107(26):11841-6. Epub 2010 Jun 1. Europe PMC

The TDRD9-MIWI2 complex is essential for piRNA-mediated retrotransposon silencing in the mouse male germline. Shoji, M., Tanaka, T., Hosokawa, M., Reuter, M., Stark, A., Kato, Y., Kondoh, G., Okawa, K., Chujo, T., Suzuki, T., Hata, K., Martin, S.L., Noce, T., Kuramochi-Miyagawa, S., Nakano, T., Sasaki, H., Pillai, R.S., Nakatsuji, N. & Chuma, S. Dev Cell. 2009 Dec;17(6):775-87. Europe PMC

Loss of the Mili-interacting Tudor domain-containing protein-1 activates transposons and alters the Mili-associated small RNA profile. Reuter, M., Chuma, S., Tanaka, T., Franz, T., Stark, A. & Pillai, R.S. Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2009 Jun;16(6):639-46. Epub 2009 May 24. Europe PMC

Retrotransposon silencing by piRNAs: ping-pong players mark their sub-cellular boundaries. Chuma, S. & Pillai, R.S. PLoS Genet. 2009 Dec;5(12):e1000770. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1000770. Epub 2009Dec 11. Europe PMC

MicroRNA inhibition of translation initiation in vitro by targeting the cap-binding complex eIF4F. Mathonnet, G., Fabian, M.R., Svitkin, Y.V., Parsyan, A., Huck, L., Murata, T., Biffo, S., Merrick, W.C., Darzynkiewicz, E., Pillai, R.S., Filipowicz, W., Duchaine, T.F. & Sonenberg, N. Science. 2007 Sep 21;317(5845):1764-7. Epub 2007 Jul 26. Europe PMC

Repression of protein synthesis by miRNAs: how many mechanisms? Pillai, R.S., Bhattacharyya, S.N. & Filipowicz, W. Trends Cell Biol. 2007 Mar;17(3):118-26. Epub 2007 Jan 2. Europe PMC

Effects of Dicer and Argonaute down-regulation on mRNA levels in human HEK293 cells. Schmitter, D., Filkowski, J., Sewer, A., Pillai, R.S., Oakeley, E.J., Zavolan, M., Svoboda, P. & Filipowicz, W. Nucleic Acids Res. 2006;34(17):4801-15. Epub 2006 Sep 13. Europe PMC

MicroRNA function: multiple mechanisms for a tiny RNA? Pillai, R.S. RNA. 2005 Dec;11(12):1753-61. Europe PMC

Inhibition of translational initiation by Let-7 MicroRNA in human cells. Pillai, R.S., Bhattacharyya, S.N., Artus, C.G., Zoller, T., Cougot, N., Basyuk, E., Bertrand, E. & Filipowicz, W. Science. 2005 Sep 2;309(5740):1573-6. Epub 2005 Aug 4. Europe PMC

Tethering of human Ago proteins to mRNA mimics the miRNA-mediated repression of protein synthesis. Pillai, R.S., Artus, C.G. & Filipowicz, W. RNA. 2004 Oct;10(10):1518-25. Epub 2004 Aug 30. Europe PMC