Holder of a PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology, Dr. Josée N. Lavoie is a regular researcher at the CHU Research Centre of Quebec-Laval University, oncology axis, and Professor in the Department of Molecular Biology, Medical Biochemistry and Pathology of the Faculty of Medicine at Laval University. She is also a regular researcher at the Centre for Cancer Research at Laval University, and Director of Graduate Programs in Cellular and Molecular Biology of the Faculty of Medicine at Laval University. Her research focuses on fundamental aspects of cell biology, including the molecular mechanisms that control cell division and morphological changes relevant to the development of malignant tumor cell properties. Her work has helped identify the role of small molecular chaperones from the heat shock protein family in cellular stress resistance and cytoskeletal remodeling, as well as highlighting non-apoptotic cell death processes in cancer cells.

Dr. Lavoie received the 2016 Award of Excellence from the Department of Molecular Biology, Medical Biochemistry and Pathology for her contributions to research, teaching and academic management. She has been commissioned, as an expert, to serve on numerous peer review committees of Graduate Studies Research and Training Programs.

Defining the mode of action of the HSPB8-BAG3 chaperone complex in cellular morphodynamics.

Cellular remodeling is essential during processes such as mitosis and cell differentiation. It is largely driven by assembly and disassembly of actin-based mechanosensitive structures that control cell tension. By promoting the sequestration, recycling or degradation of proteins, molecular chaperones appear essential to maintain the dynamics and integrity of the macromolecular structures that form these structures. More specifically, the chaperones of the small HSP family (HSPB), including the HSPB8-BAG3 complex, contribute to and are overactivated in malignant cells. The physiopathological relevance of the HSPB8-BAG3 complex has recently been discovered in humans by identifying mutations in BAG3 and HSPB8 that lead to rare diseases, including myofibrillar myopathy, which is characterized by the fragmentation of muscle actin fibers.

The results of this research will provide insights into relevant targets for the development of novel molecular therapies.

Identify the regulatory elements of nuclear morphodynamics in response to mechanical stress.

The formation of metastases involves the invasion of tumor cells through the tight spaces of the interstitial matrix. This process requires significant cellular deformation, which is limited by the nucleus. The nucleus is surrounded by a nuclear envelope comprising a rigid network of intermediate filaments, the lamina, which protects the genetic baggage and provides resistance to deformation. Recent advances suggest that remodeling of the nucleus architecture contributes to the migration under confinement in a three-dimensional environment and influences the stability of the genome. This remodeling, induced by mechanical forces, would be controlled via physical connections between a contractile perinuclear network formed by actin, myosin II and lamina. It would also involve changes in chromatin organization and gene expression.

The results of this research will make it possible to highlight the regulatory mechanisms exploited by tumor cells during the formation of metastases.

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Robert A, Smadja-Lamere N, Landry MC, Champagne C, Petrie R, Lamarche-Vane N, Hosoya H, Lavoie JN

Adenovirus E4orf4 hijacks rho GTPase-dependent actin dynamics to kill cells: a role for endosome-associated actin assembly.

Journal Article

Mol Biol Cell, 17 (7), pp. 3329-44, 2006, ISSN: 1059-1524.

Abstract | Links:

Bilodeau N, Fiset A, Poirier GG, Fortier S, Gingras MC, Lavoie JN, Faure RL

Insulin-dependent phosphorylation of DPP IV in liver. Evidence for a role of compartmentalized c-Src.

Journal Article

FEBS J, 273 (5), pp. 992-1003, 2006, ISSN: 1742-464X.

Abstract | Links:

Miron MJ, Gallouzi IE, Lavoie JN, Branton PE

Nuclear localization of the adenovirus E4orf4 protein is mediated through an arginine-rich motif and correlates with cell death.

Journal Article

Oncogene, 23 (45), pp. 7458-68, 2004, ISSN: 0950-9232.

Abstract | Links:

Champagne C, Landry MC, Gingras MC, Lavoie JN

Activation of adenovirus type 2 early region 4 ORF4 cytoplasmic death function by direct binding to Src kinase domain.

Journal Article

J Biol Chem, 279 (24), pp. 25905-15, 2004, ISSN: 0021-9258.

Abstract | Links:

Robert A, Miron MJ, Champagne C, Gingras MC, Branton PE, Lavoie JN

Distinct cell death pathways triggered by the adenovirus early region 4 ORF 4 protein.

Journal Article

J Cell Biol, 158 (3), pp. 519-28, 2002, ISSN: 0021-9525.

Abstract | Links:

Gingras MC, Champagne C, Roy M, Lavoie JN

Cytoplasmic death signal triggered by SRC-mediated phosphorylation of the adenovirus E4orf4 protein.

Journal Article

Mol Cell Biol, 22 (1), pp. 41-56, 2002, ISSN: 0270-7306.

Abstract | Links:

Charette SJ, Lavoie JN, Lambert H, Landry J

Inhibition of Daxx-mediated apoptosis by heat shock protein 27.

Journal Article

Mol Cell Biol, 20 (20), pp. 7602-12, 2000, ISSN: 0270-7306.

Abstract | Links:

Goping IS, Gross A, Lavoie JN, Nguyen M, Jemmerson R, Roth K, Korsmeyer SJ, Shore GC

Regulated targeting of BAX to mitochondria.

Journal Article

J Cell Biol, 143 (1), pp. 207-15, 1998, ISSN: 0021-9525.

Abstract | Links:

Marcellus RC, Lavoie JN, Boivin D, Shore GC, Ketner G, Branton PE

The early region 4 orf4 protein of human adenovirus type 5 induces p53-independent cell death by apoptosis.

Journal Article

J Virol, 72 (9), pp. 7144-53, 1998, ISSN: 0022-538X.

Abstract | Links:

Lavoie JN, Nguyen M, Marcellus RC, Branton PE, Shore GC

E4orf4, a novel adenovirus death factor that induces p53-independent apoptosis by a pathway that is not inhibited by zVAD-fmk.

Journal Article

J Cell Biol, 140 (3), pp. 637-45, 1998, ISSN: 0021-9525.

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 sur le cancer, Subvention, Institutionnel - BDR, BDR - Centres de recherche reconnus, from 1996-05-01 to 2022-06-13
  • Deciphering mechanical stress-induced nuclear envelope remodeling in tumor cells, Subvention, Société de recherche sur le cancer, Subvention de fonctionnement, from 2020-09-01 to 2022-08-31
  • Financement de votre projet de recherche dans l'Axe oncologie , Subvention, Fondation du CHU de Québec, from 2020-01-31 to 2021-01-30
  • Tyrosine kinase signaling in Nuclear Morphodynamics., Subvention, Conseil de recherches en sciences naturelles et génie Canada, Subventions à la découverte SD (individuelles et d'équipe), from 2016-04-01 to 2021-03-31

Recently finished projects

  • Identifier les caractéristiques définissant les cellules tumorales qui favorisent le caractère envahissant, Subvention, Société de recherche sur le cancer, Subvention de fonctionnement, from 2018-09-01 to 2020-08-31
Data provided by the Université Laval research projects registery