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Jonathan LaMarre

Professor   |   DVM, PhD Guelph

Research Interests

My research activities would be best described as those of a veterinary biomedical scientist and reproductive biologist. By this, I mean that my laboratory explores the basic processes that underlie a broad range of cellular and physiological events relevant to animal and human health, focusing on processes that affect fertility and development. A strong unifying theme of my work is the attempt to understand important and under-recognized mechanisms that control gene expression at the post-transcriptional level.

The primary tissue/cellular systems currently studied in my laboratory are mammalian (bovine, canine, feline) gametes and embryos. In particular, over the past 5 years, we have investigated the effects of small RNA molecules such as microRNAs and PIWI-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) that “broker” the interaction between proteins and their coding RNA targets in order to regulate RNA decay and/or translation into protein.

My laboratory has also made significant contributions to understanding novel mechanisms of growth and functional regulation other tissues and cells, most notably, the ovarian follicle and corpus luteum. We have also performed a number of studies investigating dysregulation of cellular growth and function in different tumor cell models. Finally, because many of the processes we investigate act through the activity of “measureable” factors (eg. miRNAs), we have begun to work extensively with more applied aspects such as biomarker discovery, fertility control and clinical IVF procedures.  

Funding Sources: The primary funding source for studies in my laboratory has been the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada. I have also obtained operating grants from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) for our work on the reproductive system. I am currently funded by NSERC and the Michelson Grants Program in Reproduction.

Future Directions: In the future, I envision a continuing focus on the molecular mechanisms behind the profound changes in gene expression that accompany embryo development and the roles that these changes play in controlling cellular behavior (cell-cycle entry, differentiated function). Our studies will continue to address the mechanisms by which important “effector” genes are regulated in the embryo, particularly by small RNA pathways, and how this can be applied to clinical contexts such as IVF, stem cells and cryobiology. We will also address the impact of these regulatory events on the ultimate fate of embryonic cells, and the ways in which these regulatory events become dysregulated during abnormal cell growth such as that seen in cancer.

Selected Publications

  • Sabry R, Yamate J, Favetta L, LaMarre J. MicroRNAs: potential targets and agents of endocrine disruption in female reproduction. J Toxicol Pathol. 2019 Oct;32(4):213-221. doi: 10.1293/tox.2019-0054. Epub 2019 Jul 27. Review. PubMed PMID: 31719748; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6831493.

  • Lepage SIM, Sharma R, Dukoff D, Stalker L, LaMarre J, Koch TG. Gene Expression Profile Is Different between Intact and Enzymatically Digested Equine Articular Cartilage. Cartilage. 2019 Mar 6:1947603519833148. doi: 10.1177/1947603519833148. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 30841716.\

  • Russell SJ, LaMarre J. Transposons and the PIWI pathway: genome defense in gametes and embryos. Reproduction. 2018 Oct 1;156(4):R111–R124. doi: 10.1530/REP-18-0218. Review. PubMed PMID: 30304932.

  • Tscherner A, Brown AC, Stalker L, Kao J, Dufort I, Sirard MA, LaMarre J. STAT3 signaling stimulates miR-21 expression in bovine cumulus cells during in vitro oocyte maturation. Sci Rep. 2018 Aug 1;8(1):11527. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-29874-w. PubMed PMID: 30068990; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6070548.

  • Russell SJ, LaMarre J. Transposons and the PIWI Pathway - Genome Defence in Gametes and Embryos. Reproduction. 2018 Jul 23. pii: REP-18-0218. doi: 10.1530/REP-18-0218. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 30037984.

  • Russell SJ, Stalker L, LaMarre J. PIWIs, piRNAs and Retrotransposons: Complex battles during reprogramming in gametes and early embryos. Reprod Domest Anim. 2017 Oct;52 Suppl 4:28-38. doi: 10.1111/rda.13053. Review. PubMed PMID: 29052331.

  • Kuramochi M, Izawa T, Pervin M, Bondoc A, Kuwamura M, LaMarre J, Yamate J. Attenuation of thioacetamide-induced hepatocellular injury by short-term repeated injections associated with down-regulation of metabolic enzymes and relationship with MHC class II-presenting cells. Exp Toxicol Pathol. 2017 Oct 2;69(8):589-597. doi: 10.1016/j.etp.2017.05.005. Epub 2017 May 27. PubMed PMID: 28559049.

  • Kulkarni RR, Villanueva AI, Read LR, Brisbin JT, Bhaumik SK, LaMarre J, Murali-Krishna K, Sharif S. CpG oligonucleotide-mediated co-stimulation of mouse invariant natural killer T cells negatively regulates their activation status. Cell Tissue Res. 2017 Sep;369(3):541-554. doi: 10.1007/s00441-017-2631-y. Epub 2017 May 27. PubMed PMID: 28550425.

  • Alibhai FJ, LaMarre J, Reitz CJ, Tsimakouridze EV, Kroetsch JT, Bolz SS, Shulman A, Steinberg S, Burris TP, Oudit GY, Martino TA. Disrupting the key circadian regulator CLOCK leads to age-dependent cardiovascular disease. J Mol Cell Cardiol. 2017 Apr;105:24-37. doi: 10.1016/j.yjmcc.2017.01.008. Epub 2017 Feb 20. PubMed PMID: 28223222.

  • Russell S, Patel M, Gilchrist G, Stalker L, Gillis D, Rosenkranz D, LaMarre J. Bovine piRNA-like RNAs are associated with both transposable elements and mRNAs. Reproduction. 2017 Mar;153(3):305-318. doi: 10.1530/REP-16-0620. Epub 2016 Dec 13. PubMed PMID: 27965401.

  • Russell KA, Chow NH, Dukoff D, Gibson TW, LaMarre J, Betts DH, Koch TG. Characterization and Immunomodulatory Effects of Canine Adipose Tissue- and Bone Marrow-Derived Mesenchymal Stromal Cells. PLoS One. 2016 Dec 1;11(12):e0167442. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0167442. eCollection 2016. PubMed PMID: 27907211; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5131977.

  • Gaitero L, Russell SJ, Monteith G, LaMarre J. Expression of microRNAs miR-21 and miR-181c in cerebrospinal fluid and serum in canine meningoencephalomyelitis of unknown origin. Vet J. 2016 Oct;216:122-4. doi: 10.1016/j.tvjl.2016.07.014. Epub 2016 Jul 27. PubMed PMID: 27687938.

  • Gilchrist GC, Tscherner A, Nalpathamkalam T, Merico D, LaMarre J. MicroRNA Expression during Bovine Oocyte Maturation and Fertilization. Int J Mol Sci. 2016 Mar 18;17(3):396. doi: 10.3390/ijms17030396. PubMed PMID: 26999121; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4813251.