Dr. Clémence Belleannée, Ph.D., is a researcher at the CHU Research Centre of Quebec-Laval University and Assistant Professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproduction since 2014. After obtaining her doctorate at the Université François Rabelais de Tours in France, Dr. Belleannée completed two postdoctoral fellowships, one at Laval University and the other at Harvard Medical School / Massachussets General Hospital, where she received the 2009 Epithelial Transport Group Young Investigator award. Two of her publications have received a special mention from the Faculty of 1000 (F1000), for their application in Andrology.

Nowadays, one in ten couples face fertility problems, half of which are associated with male factors. The work done by Dr. Belleannée’s team focuses on the study of biological mechanisms that are at the origin of male infertility. This work aims to improve diagnosis and develop new therapeutic tools in the face of this major public health issue.

1- Decoding the intercellular signals that govern spermatic maturation

The epididymis is a long and unique tubule of the male reproductive system whose dysfunction causes problems in male fertility. During their transit in this organ, testicular spermatozoa will acquire their motility and capacity to recognize and fertilize an oocyte. In humans, this maturation process lasts 4 to 6 days, depending on the somatic cells of the epididymal epithelium. With these cells communicating in a well orchestrated manner, Dr. Belleannée’s laboratory studies the intercellular mechanisms governing spermatic maturation, in which the extracellular vesicles and their molecular cargo (microRNA) play a mediating role. NSERC Grant.

2- Identify the dynamics of epigenetic marks during sperm maturation

Since the first baby born through in vitro fertilization (IVF) in 1978, breakthroughs in assisted reproduction techniques have allowed infertile couples to access effective treatments. However, how these techniques relate to one another– more specifically intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) -, the epigenetic profile of male gametes, as well as the development and health of offspring, is still questioned. Our goal is to 1) define the epigenetic signature of spermatozoa collected at different stages of maturation (testicular vs. epididymal vs. ejaculated spermatozoa) and used in different contexts of infertility treatment, and 2) to evaluate, from murine models, the influence of this signature on the development of offspring. Our long-term goal is to develop strategies, in collaboration with fertility clinics, to limit the risks associated with techniques that are commonly used in fertility clinics. Sick Kids Foundation / CIHR Grant.

CHUL
2705, boulevard Laurier, T-3-48
Québec, Québec
Canada G1V 4G2
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Ruan YC, Shum WW, Belleannee C, Da Silva N, Breton S

ATP secretion in the male reproductive tract: essential role of CFTR.

Journal Article

J Physiol, 590 (17), pp. 4209-22, 2012, ISSN: 0022-3751.

Abstract | Links:

Dacheux JL, Belleannee C, Guyonnet B, Labas V, Teixeira-Gomes AP, Ecroyd H, Druart X, Gatti JL, Dacheux F

The contribution of proteomics to understanding epididymal maturation of mammalian spermatozoa.

Journal Article

Syst Biol Reprod Med, 58 (4), pp. 197-210, 2012, ISSN: 1939-6368.

Abstract | Links:

Belleannee C, Calvo E, Thimon V, Cyr DG, Legare C, Garneau L, Sullivan R

Role of microRNAs in controlling gene expression in different segments of the human epididymis.

Journal Article

PLoS ONE, 7 (4), pp. e34996, 2012.

Abstract | Links:

Shum WW, Da Silva N, Belleannee C, McKee M, Brown D, Breton S

Regulation of V-ATPase recycling via a RhoA- and ROCKII-dependent pathway in epididymal clear cells.

Journal Article

Am J Physiol Cell Physiol, 301 (1), pp. C31-43, 2011, ISSN: 0363-6143.

Abstract | Links:

Belleannee C, Belghazi M, Labas V, Teixeira-Gomes AP, Gatti JL, Dacheux JL, Dacheux F

Purification and identification of sperm surface proteins and changes during epididymal maturation.

Journal Article

Proteomics, 11 (10), pp. 1952-64, 2011, ISSN: 1615-9853.

Abstract | Links:

Belleannee C, Labas V, Teixeira-Gomes AP, Gatti JL, Dacheux JL, Dacheux F

Identification of luminal and secreted proteins in bull epididymis.

Journal Article

J Proteomics, 74 (1), pp. 59-78, 2011, ISSN: 1874-3919.

Abstract | Links:

Da Silva N, Pisitkun T, Belleannee C, Miller LR, Nelson R, Knepper MA, Brown D, Breton S

Proteomic analysis of V-ATPase-rich cells harvested from the kidney and epididymis by fluorescence-activated cell sorting.

Journal Article

Am J Physiol Cell Physiol, 298 (6), pp. C1326-42, 2010, ISSN: 0363-6143.

Abstract | Links:

Belleannee C, Da Silva N, Shum WW, Brown D, Breton S

Role of purinergic signaling pathways in V-ATPase recruitment to apical membrane of acidifying epididymal clear cells.

Journal Article

Am J Physiol Cell Physiol, 298 (4), pp. C817-30, 2010, ISSN: 0363-6143.

Abstract | Links:

Dacheux JL, Belleannee C, Jones R, Labas V, Belghazi M, Guyonnet B, Druart X, Gatti JL, Dacheux F

Mammalian epididymal proteome.

Journal Article

Mol Cell Endocrinol, 306 (1-2), pp. 45-50, 2009, ISSN: 0303-7207.

Abstract | Links:

Belleannee C, Da Silva N, Shum WW, Marsolais M, Laprade R, Brown D, Breton S

Segmental expression of the bradykinin type 2 receptor in rat efferent ducts and epididymis and its role in the regulation of aquaporin 9.

Journal Article

Biol Reprod, 80 (1), pp. 134-43, 2009, ISSN: 0006-3363.

Abstract | Links:

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Active projects

  • Centre de recherche du CHU de Québec - Université Laval, Subvention, Centre hospitalier universitaire de Québec - Université Laval, Centres de recherche affiliés, from 2017-01-01 to 2099-12-31
  • Centre de recherche en reproduction, développement et santé intergénérationnelle, Subvention, Institutionnel - BDR, BDR - Centres de recherche reconnus, from 1996-06-01 to 2021-04-30
  • Communication extracellulaire dans les systèmes reproducteurs mâles et femelles., Subvention, Fonds de recherche du Québec - Santé, Chercheur-boursier Juniors 1 et 2, Seniors, from 2016-07-01 to 2020-06-30
  • Deciphering extracellular microRNA communication system., Subvention, Conseil de recherches en sciences naturelles et génie Canada, Subventions à la découverte SD (individuelles et d'équipe), from 2015-04-01 to 2021-03-31
  • Réseau Québécois en Reproduction (RQR), Subvention, Fonds de recherche du Québec - Nature et technologies, Regroupements stratégiques NT, from 2017-04-01 to 2023-03-31
  • Unravelling the role of primary cilia in the control of male fertility, Subvention, Instituts de recherche en santé du Canada, Subvention Projet, from 2018-10-01 to 2023-03-31

Recently finished projects

  • Communication extracellulaire dans les systèmes reproducteurs mâles et femelles., Subvention, Fonds de recherche du Québec - Santé, Établissement de jeunes chercheurs - Juniors 1, from 2016-07-01 to 2019-06-30
  • Impact of the sperm epigenome on the progeny outcome born by assisted reproductive technology, Subvention, Sick Kids Foundation (The), New Investigator Research Grants, from 2016-07-01 to 2019-06-30
Data provided by the Université Laval research projects registery