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Gordon Research Conference — Membrane Protein Folding

7th July 2019   -   12th July 2019
Stonehill College, Easton, MA, United States


The importance of developing a thorough understanding of how integral membrane proteins fold under both test tube laboratory conditions and in the milieu of cell as never been more evident. It is now clear that a good many, very possibly the majority, of the many thousands of known disease-causing/predisposing gene variations that encode changes in the amino acid sequences of membrane proteins do so by aberrantly altering the folding of membrane proteins, leading to loss of native protein function. The resulting physiological impact of the loss of membrane protein function is in some cases exacerbated by the toxicity of the misfolded protein. This is true for disorders as diverse as retinitis pigmentosa, cystic fibrosis, atherosclerosis, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, morbid obesity, growth disorders, various cardiac arrhythmias, clinical depression, and epilepsy. Other disorders, including Alzheimer-s, some forms of cancer, Parkinson-s, and prion disorders, are promoted by aberrant interactions of proteins with membranes. The importance of membrane protein folding and stability in human health and basic biology is matched by a critical roles for folding in biotechnological applications of membrane proteins. The 2019 GRC on Membrane Protein Folding will be the 3rd biannual GRC of this new series. While this series is rooted in the membrane biophysics and biochemistry communities, a hallmark of the 2019 program is the participation of a distinguished subset of invited speakers who are experts on the cell biology of membrane protein folding. An exciting frontier exists at the interface between the cell biology and biophysics of membrane protein folding, and this meeting will stimulate exploration and collaboration in this domain. Other topics to be covered in the 2019 program include the presence of native disorder in membrane proteins, the role of membrane protein folding in retinitis pigmentosa, how folding and receptor signaling can be dynamically linked, the specificity of lipid-protein interactions in folding, how membrane proteins and respond to changes in temperature, integration of nascent membrane proteins into cell membranes, and engineering of membrane proteins. The program is designed to encourage participation by young scientists in that there will be some 20 short (15 minute) talks selected from the abstracts, complementing the usual poster sessions.

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