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Isabelle Plante

Areas of expertise

Breast cancer and mammary gland development , Environmental Toxicology

  • Professor


450 686-5566


Armand-Frappier Santé Biotechnologie Research Centre

531 des Prairies Blvd.
Laval, Quebec H7V 1B7

See the research centre

Research interests

My research aims to determine the role of cellular interactions during mammary gland development and in breast cancer. More especially, we want to understand the regulation and the function of gap, adherens and tight junctions during mammary gland development, and how their dysregulation, by mutations or environmental pollutants, influence breast cancer progression.


Identify the role of cell-cell junctions during mammary gland development.

The breast is formed by two compartments: the stroma, mainly composed of adipocytes, fibroblasts and extracellular matrices, and the epithelium, formed by an internal layer of luminal cells surrounded by basal cells, mainly composed of myoepithelial cells. It has been demonstrated that interactions within and between the two layers of cells is crucial for proper development and function of the gland. Moreover, interactions between the epithelium and the surrounding stroma are also necessary. Therefore, this project focuses on the role and the regulation of junctional protein during the different stages of mammary gland development.


To define the role of intercellular junctions in breast cancer.

Although dysregulation of junctional proteins have been linked to breast cancer for years, mechanisms involved are poorly known. Moreover, an increasing number of evidences demonstrates that the microenvironment surrounding the tumors play in important role in cancer progression. This project thus aims to determine how junctional proteins relate to breast cancer progression, and how the surrounding microenvironment influence their expression.


To establish whether environmental pollutants influence mammary gland development and promote breast cancer

In many countries, breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths among women. While the causes are pleomorphic and generally unknown, it is generally admitted that 70-90% of all cancers are linked to behavioral, dietary and environmental factors. While the term environment applies to many factors, our research focuses on chemicals present in air, water, food and personal care and household products. More precisely, our concerns relate to exposure to endocrine disruptors such as phthalates. Endocrine disruptors are defined as substances which modulate the actions of hormones in the body, thus interfering with the normal development and function of the tissues. Since mammary gland development and function are tightly orchestrated by hormones, slights changes in their levels or actions can modify cell proliferation and differentiation, and thus promote breast cancer.


Pour une liste complète des publications:


Publication 2011-2018

Crobeddu B, Ferraris E, Kolasa E et Plante I.
phtalate de di (2-éthylhexyle) (DEHP) augmente la prolifération des cellules cancéreuses épithéliales du sein par une dérégulation des récepteurs de la progestérone.
Environmental Research , sous presse, disponible en ligne: 19-MAR-2019 DOI information: 10.1016 / j.envres.2019.03.037,


Weber-Ouellette A, Busby M et Plante I. Luminal MCF-12A et myoépithéliales Hs 578Bst forment des acini bicouches similaires au sein humain. Future Science OA 2018, Volume 4, Numéro 7 / Août 2018


Busby M, Hallett M et Plante I.
Le rôle complexe dépendant du sous-type de Connexin 43 (GJA1) dans le cancer du sein.
International Journal of Molecular Sciences 2018 28 février; 19 (3). pii: E693. doi: 10.3390 / ijms19030693


Dianati E, Wade MG, Hales BF, Robaire B, Plante I
L’exposition à un mélange écologiquement pertinent de retardateurs de flamme bromés a diminué l’expression de la p-bêta-caténine (ser675) et son interaction avec la E-cadhérine dans les glandes mammaires des rats en lactation . Toxicol Sci 2017, 159 (1): 114-123


Dianati E, Plante I
Analysis of Protein-protein Interactions and Co-localization Between Components of Gap, Tight, and Adherens Junctions in Murine Mammary Glands.
J Vis Exp 2017(123).


Stewart MKG, Plante I, Penuela S, Laird DW
Loss of Panx1 Impairs Mammary Gland Development at Lactation: Implications for Breast Tumorigenesis. Plos One 2016, 11(4).


Dianati E, Poiraud J, Weber-Ouellette A, Plante I
Connexins, E-cadherin, Claudin-7 and beta-catenin transiently form junctional nexuses during the post-natal mammary gland development. Dev Biol 2016, 416(1):52-68.


Delisle A, Ferraris E, Plante I
Chronic exposure to hexachlorobenzene results in down-regulation of connexin43 in the breast. Environ Res 2015, 143(Pt A):229-240.


Stewart MKG, Plante I, Bechberger JF, Naus CC, Laird DW
Mammary Gland Specific Knockdown of the Physiological Surge in Cx26 during Lactation Retains Normal Mammary Gland Development and Function.
Plos One 2014, 9(7).


Plante I, Stewart MK, Laird DW
Evaluation of mammary gland development and function in mouse models.
J Vis Exp 2011(53).


Plante I, Stewart MK, Barr K, Allan AL, Laird DW
Cx43 supprime les métastases tumorales mammaires au poumon dans un modèle murin mutant Cx43 de maladie humaine.
Oncogene 2011, 30 (14): 1681-1692.