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EMBL Conference

Myofibrillar Z-disk Structure and Dynamics

EMBL Hamburg, Germany Monday 14 October - Thursday 17 October 2013 Registration closed
Abstract submission closed
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Introduction

Many hereditary diseases that severely affect cardiac and skeletal muscles are associated with mutations in proteins that constitute the basic unit of striated muscles, known as sarcomeres. During recent years, there has been considerable advance in the identification of various muscle diseases, which complement multidisciplinary efforts to explore underlying molecular and cellular mechanisms that are responsible for sarcomere development and function. The workshop proposed will address these advances in a timely manner and will be organized in five tightly interlinked themes: recent progress identified novel protein-protein interactions connecting key filamentous components of the sarcomere, as well as generic pathways controlling protein dynamics during development, growth and remodelling. The sarcomere, as a highly dynamic and continually mechanically active structure, is a paradigmatic system where molecular conformation is constantly undergoing dynamical changes during the mechanical contraction/relaxation cycle. These active and passive conformational changes are key to sarcomere functions, determining active contraction, passive resistance, and maintaining plasticity of muscle. Importantly, the Z-disk and M-band portions, situated at the distal ends and the very centre of each sarcomeric unit, have emerged as key hubs of this interplay between structure, mechanics and signalling. Recent progress has also shed light on how disruptions of sarcomeric protein interaction networks by human mutations, impairing their mechanical and/or signalling functions, lead to inherited muscle diseases.

 

Aims of event

As the title suggests, the objectives of this meeting are:

i) To bring together experts on different sarcomeric proteins and muscle diseases, employing a wide variety of approaches from molecular/structural to cellular/model systems studies, to increase communication between them and to underline similarities and discuss differences in the function and malfunction between the different sarcomeric components.

ii) To provide a forum for young researchers to meet with experts covering a wide range of topics and to discuss their current and future work.

iii) To integrate current efforts in elucidating the genetics and pathphysiology of sarcomere-linked myopathies with basic research and to identify where more information/research is needed.

iv) To discuss the wealth of structural information on sarcomeric proteins that is currently being produced due to the world-wide efforts in structural biology, and harnessing this for dynamic computational analysis, mutation analysis and drug design.