Dr. Patrick Laprise is a regular researcher in the Oncology axis of the CHU of Quebec-Laval University Research Centre. He is also a professor in the Department of Molecular Biology, Medical Biochemistry and Pathology at Laval University. His research activities focus on understanding cell polarity in cancer. Dr. Laprise also uses the fruit fly to highlight new strategies to combat tumor progression and cancer-related complications. His works have been published in prestigious journals and have been the subject of several editorial texts. In addition, two of his discoveries have been identified as major breakthroughs by Faculty of 1000.

Understanding the cellular and molecular basis of tumor progression

The vast majority of cancers originate from epithelial tissues. These cover the surface of the body and lining of the internal cavities of organs in order to compartmentalize the body and protect it from its environment. The epithelial cells adopt an asymmetrical morphology, called epithelial polarity, which is absolutely vital to their function. The loss of epithelial polarity contributes to the invasion of cancer cells and the formation of metastases. These are often responsible for the lethality associated with cancer. The identification of proteins contributing to the loss of polarity and the characterization of their biochemical properties makes it possible to identify therapeutic strategies for combating the progression of cancer.

Use of the fruit fly in the identification of oncology therapies

Cachexia occurs in many cancer patients. This systemic syndrome is characterized by a massive loss of muscle and fat tissue, which causes significant morbidity, and may even lead to death. Our ability to understand cachexia with traditional experimental models is limited because this syndrome is difficult to model with cultured cells. Additionally, it is financially and logistically unthinkable to test thousands of potential drugs in mice. It is possible to induce tumor formation and cachexia in fruit flies. This model offers an exceptional opportunity to screen large-scale molecule libraries to identify chemical compounds that prevent tumor formation, as well as cachexia associated with cancer. Indeed, it is easy, fast and inexpensive to work with flies, compared to mammals.

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Dionne U, Chartier FJM, Lopez de Los Santos Y, Lavoie N, Bernard DN, Banerjee SL, Otis F, Jacquet K, Tremblay MG, Jain M, Bourassa S, Gish GD, Gagne JP, Poirier GG, Laprise P, Voyer N, Landry CR, Doucet N, Bisson N

Direct Phosphorylation of SRC Homology 3 Domains by Tyrosine Kinase Receptors Disassembles Ligand-Induced Signaling Networks.

Journal Article

Mol Cell, 70 (6), pp. 995-1007.e11, 2018, ISSN: 1097-2765.

Abstract | Links:

Sollier K, Gaude HM, Chartier FJ, Laprise P

Rac1 controls epithelial tube length through the apical secretion and polarity pathways.

Journal Article

Biol Open, 5 (1), pp. 49-54, 2015, ISSN: 2046-6390.

Abstract | Links:

Charrier LE, Loie E, Laprise P

Mouse Crumbs3 sustains epithelial tissue morphogenesis in vivo.

Journal Article

Sci Rep, 5 , pp. 17699, 2015, ISSN: 2045-2322.

Abstract | Links:

Loie E, Charrier LE, Sollier K, Masson JY, Laprise P

CRB3A Controls the Morphology and Cohesion of Cancer Cells through Ehm2/p114RhoGEF-Dependent Signaling.

Journal Article

Mol Cell Biol, 35 (19), pp. 3423-35, 2015, ISSN: 0270-7306.

Abstract | Links:

Houssin E, Tepass U, Laprise P

Girdin-mediated interactions between cadherin and the actin cytoskeleton are required for epithelial morphogenesis in Drosophila.

Journal Article

Development, 142 (10), pp. 1777-84, 2015, ISSN: 0950-1991.

Abstract | Links:

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Active projects

  • Centre de recherche sur le cancer, Subvention, Institutionnel - BDR, BDR - Centres de recherche reconnus, from 1996-05-01 to 2023-04-30
  • Centre hospitalier universitaire de Québec - 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
  • Epithelial tissue morphogenesis in metazoans., Subvention, Conseil de recherches en sciences naturelles et génie Canada, Subventions à la découverte SD (individuelles et d'équipe), from 2015-04-01 to 2020-03-31
  • Mécanismes moléculaires orchestrant la polarité épithéliale, Subvention, Fonds de recherche du Québec - Santé, Chercheur-boursier Juniors 1 et 2, Seniors, from 2017-07-01 to 2020-06-30
  • Molecular mechanisms orchestrating epithelial cell polarity., Subvention, Instituts de recherche en santé du Canada, Subvention de fonctionnement, from 2015-07-01 to 2020-06-30

Recently finished projects

  • 4D Confocal Imaging of Endogenous Proteins Tagged by CRISPR/Cas9 Genome Editing, Subvention, Conseil de recherches en sciences naturelles et génie Canada, Subventions d'outils et d'instruments de recherche (OIR), from 2017-03-31 to 2018-03-30
  • Analyse génétique et protéomique de la polarité cellulaire., Subvention, Fonds de recherche du Québec - Nature et technologies, Projet de recherche en équipe, from 2015-04-01 to 2018-03-31
  • Mécanismes moléculaires orchestrant la polarité épithéliale., Subvention, Fonds de recherche du Québec - Santé, Chercheur-boursier Juniors 1 et 2, Seniors, from 2013-07-01 to 2017-06-30
  • Molecular mechanisms supporting the CRB3-dependent repression of tumor growth and progression., Subvention, Société de recherche sur le cancer, Subvention de fonctionnement, from 2015-09-01 to 2017-08-31
  • Versatile and quantitative analysis of macromolecules, Subvention, Conseil de recherches en sciences naturelles et génie Canada, Subventions d'outils et d'instruments de recherche (OIR), from 2017-03-31 to 2018-03-30
Data provided by the Université Laval research projects registery