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Martin Simard

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Principal area
Oncology
Address
Hôtel-Dieu de Québec
9, rue McMahon, 0744-5
Québec (Québec)
CANADA G1R 2J6

Phone
+1 418-525-4444, poste 15185
Fax
+1 418-691-5439
Email
Martin.Simard@crchudequebec.ulaval.ca

Small non-coding RNA molecules play important roles in diverse biological processes. In animals, small interfering RNAs (siRNA) can specifically degrade a fully complementary target mRNA in a process called RNA interference (RNAi), whereas endogenous microRNAs (miRNAs) inhibit mRNA translation by associating with sequences in the 3’UTR of target mRNAs. Moreover, small RNA molecules are correlated with transcriptional repression in plants and fungi. Although processing involving siRNA and miRNA result in different outcomes, they share some features: 1) siRNAs and miRNAs are produced from dsRNA molecules cleaved by an RNAse III enzyme called Dicer, 2) these small RNAs then guide a protein complex to their mRNA targets according to their RNA-RNA duplex complementarity. However, little is known about the cellular factors required in each of these pathway and how small non-coding RNAs can regulate diverse aspects of the gene regulation.

Because RNA interference is a sequence-specific process that requires a perfect complementarity between the small RNA molecule and its target gene, it has rapidly become a powerful reverse genetic tool in many organisms. A better comprehension of RNA interference will enforce its utilization as a gene therapy able to target specific genes where their misregulation may cause cancer or other human disease.

Since the discovery of the first microRNAs in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (i.e. lin-4 and let-7), it is now clear that these small RNA species are widely found in many cellular organisms and play essential roles in gene regulation. Understanding their functions will lead to a better comprehension of the amazing roles played by RNA molecules in diverse aspects of the cellular maintenance.
 

Recent publications (see all publication from this researcher)

Zhong L, Simoneau B, Huot J, Simard MJ. p38 and JNK pathways control E-selectin-dependent extravasation of colon cancer cells by modulating miR-31 transcription. Oncotarget,  2017. 8: 1678-1687
Quevillon Huberdeau M, Zeitler DM, Hauptmann J, Bruckmann A, Fressigne L, Danner J, Piquet S, Strieder N, Engelmann JC, Jannot G, Deutzmann R, Simard MJ, Meister G. Phosphorylation of Argonaute proteins affects mRNA binding and is essential for microRNA-guided gene silencing in vivo. The EMBO journal,  2017. 36: 2088-2106
Wang C, Gupta P, Fressigne L, Bosse GD, Wang X, Simard MJ, Hansen D. TEG-1 CD2BP2 controls miRNA levels by regulating miRISC stability in C. elegans and human cells. Nucleic acids research,  2017. 45: 1488-1500
Dallaire A, Simard MJ. The implication of microRNAs and endo-siRNAs in animal germline and early development. Developmental biology,  2016. 416: 18-25
Jannot G, Michaud P, Quevillon Huberdeau M, Morel-Berryman L, Brackbill JA, Piquet S, McJunkin K, Nakanishi K, Simard MJ. Correction: GW182-Free microRNA Silencing Complex Controls Post-transcriptional Gene Expression during Caenorhabditis elegans Embryogenesis. PLoS genetics,  2016. 12: e1006534
Flamand MN, Wu E, Vashisht A, Jannot G, Keiper BD, Simard MJ, Wohlschlegel J, Duchaine TF. Poly(A)-binding proteins are required for microRNA-mediated silencing and to promote target deadenylation in C. elegans. Nucleic acids research,  2016. 44: 5924-35
Jannot G, Michaud P, Quevillon Huberdeau M, Morel-Berryman L, Brackbill JA, Piquet S, McJunkin K, Nakanishi K, Simard MJ. GW182-Free microRNA Silencing Complex Controls Post-transcriptional Gene Expression during Caenorhabditis elegans Embryogenesis. PLoS genetics,  2016. 12: e1006484
Haj-Salem I, Fakhfakh R, Berube JC, Jacques E, Plante S, Simard MJ, Bosse Y, Chakir J. MicroRNA-19a enhances proliferation of bronchial epithelial cells by targeting TGFbetaR2 gene in severe asthma. Allergy,  2015. 70: 212-9
Meziane O, Piquet S, Bosse GD, Gagne D, Paquet E, Robert C, Tones MA, Simard MJ. The human decapping scavenger enzyme DcpS modulates microRNA turnover. Scientific reports,  2015. 5: 16688
Dallaire A, Proulx S, Simard MJ, Lebel M. Expression profile of Caenorhabditis elegans mutant for the Werner syndrome gene ortholog reveals the impact of vitamin C on development to increase life span. BMC genomics,  2014. 15: 940
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