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.

L'Hôtel-Dieu de Québec
9, rue McMahon
Québec, Québec
Canada G1R 2J6
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Gendron FP, Mongrain S, Laprise P, McMahon S, Dubois CM, Blais M, Asselin C, Rivard N

The CDX2 transcription factor regulates furin expression during intestinal epithelial cell differentiation.

Journal Article

Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol, 290 (2), pp. G310-8, 2006, ISSN: 0193-1857.

Abstract | Links:

Beronja S, Laprise P, Papoulas O, Pellikka M, Sisson J, Tepass U

Essential function of Drosophila Sec6 in apical exocytosis of epithelial photoreceptor cells.

Journal Article

J Cell Biol, 169 (4), pp. 635-46, 2005, ISSN: 0021-9525.

Abstract | Links:

Boucher MJ, Laprise P, Rivard N

Cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase A negatively modulates adherens junction integrity and differentiation of intestinal epithelial cells.

Journal Article

J Cell Physiol, 202 (1), pp. 178-90, 2005, ISSN: 0021-9541.

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
  • Identification and validation of compounds targeting tumor growth and cancer-induced cachexia, Subvention, Société de recherche sur le cancer, Subvention de fonctionnement, from 2019-09-01 to 2021-08-31
  • Molecular mechanisms defining the size of biological tubes in vivo, Subvention, Conseil de recherches en sciences naturelles et génie Canada, Subventions à la découverte SD (individuelles et d'équipe), from 2020-04-01 to 2025-03-31
  • Molecular mechanisms orchestrating epithelial cell polarity., Subvention, Instituts de recherche en santé du Canada, Subvention de fonctionnement, from 2015-07-01 to 2021-06-30

Recently finished projects

  • Analyse protéomique des réseaux de signalisation dépendants des récepteurs tyrosine kinase de la famille EPH et de leurs fonctions dans la ségrégation cellulaire et la polarité épitheliale, Subvention, Fonds de recherche du Québec - Nature et technologies, Projet de recherche en équipe, from 2018-04-01 to 2021-03-31
  • 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
Data provided by the Université Laval research projects registery