Laboratoire de Génomique Fonctionnelle de l'Université de Sherbrooke

Past accomplishments

Researchers at the UdeS Discover a New Method for Diagnosing Cancer

Cancer Research Article Abstract
Breast cancer is the most common cause of cancer death among women under age 50 years, so it is imperative to identify molecularmarkers to improve diagnosis and prognosis of this disease.Here, we present a new approach for the identification of breastcancer markers that does not measure gene expression but insteaduses the ratio of alternatively spliced mRNAs as its indicator.Using a high-throughput reverse transcription-PCR basedsystem for splicing annotation, we monitored the alternativesplicing profiles of 600 cancer-associated genes in a panelof 21 normal and 26 cancerous breast tissues. We validated 41alternative splicing events that significantly differed in breasttumors relative to normal breast tissues. Most cancer-specificchanges in splicing that disrupt known protein domains supportan increase in cell proliferation or survival consistent witha functional role for alternative splicing in cancer. In a blindscreen, a classifier based on the 12 best cancer-associatedsplicing events correctly identified cancer tissues with 96%accuracy. Moreover, a subset of these alternative splicing eventscould order tissues according to histopathologic grade, and5 markers were validated in a further blind set of 19 grade1 and 19 grade 3 tumor samples. These results provide a simplealternative for the classification of normal and cancerous breasttumor tissues and underscore the putative role of alternativesplicing in the biology of cancer. [Cancer Res 2008;68(22):9525 31]

Full Article: Identification of alternative splicing markers for breast cancer


The article "Multiple and Specific mRNA Processing Targets for the Major Human nRNP Proteins " has been published in Molecular Cell Biology.

Grant Award

CBCRA Operating Grant
Identification of tumor specific messenger RNA splicing patterns as prognostic markers for breast cancer

$736,252 total

Principal Investigator: Sherif Abou Elela
Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke


Claudine Rancourt
Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke

Benoit Chabot
Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke

Jacques Brisson
Université Laval, Quebec, Quebec

Researchers at the UdeS Discover a New Method for Diagnosing Cancer

Press Release (Feb. 1, 2008): Researchers at the UdeS Discover a New Method for Diagnosing Cancer

Cancer Research Article Abstract
Intense efforts are currently being directed toward profiling ene expression in the hope of developing better cancer arkers and identifying potential drug targets. Here, we resent a sensitive new approach for the identification of ancer signatures based on direct high-throughput reverse ranscription-PCR validation of alternative splicing events. This layered and integrated system for splicing annotation (LISA) fills a gap between high-throughput microarray studies and high-sensitivity individual gene investigations, and was created to monitor the splicing of 600 cancer-associated genes in 25 normal and 21 serous ovarian cancer tissues. Out of >4,700 alternative splicing events screened, the LISA identified 48 events that were significantly associated with serous ovarian tumor tissues. In a further screen directed at 39 ovarian tissues containing cancer pathologies of various origins, our ovarian cancer splicing signature successfully distinguished all normal tissues from cancer. High-volume identification of cancer-associated splice forms by the LISA paves the way for the use of alternative splicing profiling to diagnose subtypes of cancer. [Cancer Res 2008;68(3):657-63]

Full Article: Multiple alternative splicing markers for ovarian cancer

Mérite Estrien

Pr Sherif Abou Elela was selected for the series of article "Le mérite estrien" of the Sherbrooke daily La Tribune.

See François Gougeon's article : Faire rayonner l'infiniment petit

Article on the LGFUS

A new article on the LGFUS and its in-house LIMS has been published on Direction Informatique

Technologies spécifiques pour besoins ultraspécialisés

25/07/2007 - Le Laboratoire de génomique fonctionnelle de l'Université de Sherbrooke a opté pour le développement maison en raison de la spécificité des ses besoins et de sa cadence de développement.

Alain Beaulieu

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The article "Short RNA Guides Cleavage by Eukaryotic RNase III " has just been published on PLoS ONE by Bruno Lamontagne and Sherif Abou Elela.


The article "Intronic Binding Sites for hnRNP A/B and hnRNP F/H Proteins Stimulate Pre-mRNA Splicing " has been added to publication list.


The article "Modern origin of numerous alternatively spliced human introns from tandem arrays" have just been published on PNAS by Degen Zhuo, Richard Madden, Benoit Chabot and Sherif Abou Elela; The article talks about the evolutionary origin of introns in human.

Article on the RNomics Platform

Liaison, the Université de Sherbrooke's newspaper, has published an article about the RNomics Platform:

Les chercheuses et chercheurs de l'UdeS sont désormais mieux outillés pour étudier la formation des cellules cancéreuses grâce à l'implantation de la Plateforme de RNomique Génome Québec et Université de Sherbrooke. Les deux organismes injectent 2,2 M$ dans ce projet qui s'intégrera aux activités de recherche de la Faculté de médecine et des sciences de la santé. Cette initiative d'envergure internationale a été annoncée lors de l'inauguration du nouveau Laboratoire de génomique fonctionnelle le 3 novembre, en présence du premier ministre Jean Charest...

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