Rene St-Arnaud

Associate Member [at] (Email)

Academic Career

Dr. St-Arnaud graduated from Laval University (Quebec City, Canada) with a Ph.D. in Physiology in 1986. Following post-doctoral training in molecular biology at the University of Ottawa (86-88) and at the State University of New York at Stony Brook (88-89), Dr. St-Arnaud joined the Genetics Unit of the Shriners Hospital for Children in Montreal, Canada, in 1989, where he is currently Acting Director of Research and Senior Investigator. Dr. St-Arnaud also holds cross-appointments as a tenured Full Professor of Medicine, Surgery, and Human Genetics at McGill University, where he is also cross-appointed to the Faculty of Dentistry.

Research Awards and Distinctions

Dr. St-Arnaud has held a competitive Scholarship from the Quebec Medical Research Council (FRSQ) from 1991 to 2004, and was awarded the Fuller-Albright Young Insvestigator award from the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (1997), the Outstanding Investigator Award in the Bone Field from the International Bone and Calcium Institute (1997), and the Excellence Award from the Foundation for Research on Children’s Diseases (2003). He currently sits on the editorial boards of the journals Gene, Bone and Calcified Tissue International. Dr. St-Arnaud chaired the Gordon Conference on Bones & Teeth in 2005 and served as Councilor for the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (2006-09). He was appointed Director of the Network for Oral and Bone Health Research in August of 2008 and serves on the Council of the Canadian Council on Animal Care. He is the immediate past-President of the Association of Osteobiology and the President of Advances in Mineral Metabolism (2011-2013).

Research Interests

We are interested in the control of gene expression in bone cells as well as in vitamin D metabolism. My laboratory uses state-of-the-art techniques in molecular biology and molecular genetics to identify and characterize regulators of gene expression in osteoblasts and to develop animal models of metabolic bone disease. My group has made significant contributions to our understanding of bone cell differentiation and function: we have cloned the 25-hydroxyvitamin D-1-alpha-hydroxylase gene (Cyp27b1), characterized the role of the aNAC transcriptional coregulator molecule in bone, isolated and characterized the Factor Inhibiting ATF4-mediated Transcription, and cloned a novel membrane receptor for 24,25-dihydroxyvitamin D. Our long-term goals include the study of the molecular mechanisms and signal transduction cascades involving the genes that we have cloned, in order to identify ‘druggable’ targets for the treatment of fractures and metabolic bone diseases.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Hormones

  • Molecular biology


Selected Publications


Peng, X., M. Hawthorne, A. Vaishnav, R. St-Arnaud, and R.G. Mehta. 2009. 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 is a natural chemopreventive agent against carcinogen induced precancerous lesions in mouse mammary gland organ culture. Breast Cancer Res Treat 113: 31-41.

Gkretsi, V., U. Apte, W.M. Mars, W.C. Bowen, J.-H. Luo, Y. Yang, Y.P. Yu, A. Orr, R. St-Arnaud, S. Dedhar, K.H. Kaestner, C. Wu, and G.K. Michalopoulos. 2009. Liver-specific ablation of Integrin Linked Kinase in mice results in abnormal histology, enhanced cell proliferation, and hepatomegaly. Hepatology 48: 1932-1941.

Tucker, K.L., T. Sage, J.M. Stevens, P.A. Jordan, S. Jones, N.E. Barrett, R. St-Arnaud, J. Frampton, S. Dedhar, and J.M. Gibbins. 2009. A dual role for Integrin Linked Kinase in platelets: regulating integrin function and a-granule secretion. Blood 112: 4523-4531.

Yu, V.W.C., J. El-Hoss, and R. St-Arnaud. 2009. FIAT inhibition increases osteoblast activity by modulating ATF4-dependent functions. J Cell. Biochem. 106: 186-192.

Yu, V.W.C., O. Akhouayri, and R. St-Arnaud. 2009. FIAT is co-expressed with its dimerization target ATF4 in early osteoblasts, but not in osteocytes. Gene Expression Patterns 9: 335-340.

Naja, R.P., O Dardenne, A. Arabian, and R. St-Arnaud. 2009. Chondrocyte-specific modulation of cyp27b1 expression supports a role for local synthesis of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 in growth plate development. Endocrinology 150: 4024-4032.

Alam, N., R. St-Arnaud, D. Lauzier, V. Rosen, and R.C. Hamdy. 2009. Are endogenous BMPs necessary for bone healing during distraction osteogenesis? Clin Orthop Relat Res 467: 3190-3198.

St-Arnaud, R., and V. Mandic. 2010. FIAT control of osteoblast activity. J Cell Biochem 109: 453-459.

Meury, T., O. Akhouayri, T. Jafarov, V. Mandic, and R. St-Arnaud. 2010. Nuclear aNAC influences bone matrix mineralization and osteoblast maturation in vivo. Mol Cell Biol 30: 43-53.

Lou, Y-R., F. Molnár, M. Peräkylä, S. Qiao, A.V. Kalueff, R. St-Arnaud, C. Carlberg, and P. Tuohimaa. 2010. 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 is an agonistic vitamin D receptor ligand. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol 118: 162-170.

Pontier, S.M., L. Huck, D.E. White, J. Rayment, V. Sanguin-Gendreau, B. Hennessy, D. Zuo, R. St-Arnaud, G.B. Mills, S. Dedhar, C.J. Marshall, and W.J. Muller. 2010. Integrin-Linked Kinase plays a critical role in ErbB2 mammary tumor progression: implications for human breast cancer. Oncogene 29: 3374-3385.

Dossa, T., A. Arabian, J.J. Windle, S. Dedhar, S.L. Teitelbaum, F.P. Ross, G.D. Roodman, and R. St-Arnaud. 2010. Osteoclast-specific inactivation of the Integrin-Linked Kinase (ILK) inhibits bone resorption. J Cell Biochem 110: 960-967.

St-Arnaud, R., and R.P. Naja. 2011. Vitamin D metabolism, cartilage and bone fracture repair. Mol Cell Endocrinol: 347: 48-54.

St-Arnaud, R., A. Arabian, O. Akhouayri, J.C. Knutson, and S.A. Strugnell. 2011. Differential effects of oral doxercalciferol (Hectorolâ) or paricalcitol (Zemplarâ) in the Cyp27b1-null mouse model of uremia. Nephron Exp Nephr: 119: e67-e74 [Epub ahead of print].

Monemdjou, R., F. Vasheghani, H. Fahmi, G. Perez, M. Blati, N. Taniguchi, M. Lotz, R. St-Arnaud, J.-P. Pelletier, J. Martel-Pelletier, F. Beier, and M. Kapoor. 2012. Cartilage-specific deletion of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma results in abnormal endochondral ossification, and cartilage growth and development. Arthritis and Rheumatism 64: 1551-1561.

St-Arnaud, R., and B. Hekmatnejad. 2011. Combinatorial control of ATF4-dependent gene transcription in osteoblasts. Ann. NY Acad. Sci. 1237: 11-18.

Jafarov, T., J.W.M. Alexander, and R. St-Arnaud. 2012. aNAC interacts with histone deacetylase corepressors to control Myogenin and Osteocalcin gene expression. Biochim Biophys Acta 1819: 1208-1216.

Tourigny A., F. Charbonneau, P. Xing, R. Boukrab, G. Rousseau, R. St-Arnaud, and M.L. Brezniceanu. 2012. CYP24A1 exacerbated activity during diabetes contributes to kidney tubular apoptosis via Caspase-3 increased expression and activation. PloS One 7: e48652.

Vasheghani, F., R. Monemdjou, H. Fahmi, Y. Zhang, G. Perez, M. Blati, R. St-Arnaud, J.-P. Pelletier, F. Beier, J. Martel-Pelletier, and M. Kapoor. 2013. Adult cartilage-specific peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma knockout mice exhibit the spontaneous osteoarthritis phenotype. Am J Pathol 182: 1099-1106.

Hekmatnejad, B., C. Gauthier, and R. St-Arnaud. 2013. Control of Fiat (Factor Inhibiting ATF4-mediated Transcription) expression by Sp family transcription factors in osteoblasts. J Cell Biochem, in press.

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