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Programme features

The “Extracellular Matrix: Cell Regulation, Epigenetics and Modeling”, will cover topics related to ongoing development in the fields of:

  1. Cell surface, interactions and signaling dealing with integrins, cell membrane and secreted proteoglycans as well as shed syndecans and glypicans, modulation of receptor activation and signaling by matrix effectors,
  2. Matrix-remodeling enzymes dealing with enzymes (including MMPs, cathepsins, heparanase) implicated in disease development and progression,
  3. Matrix organization and assembly dealing with basement membrane integrity, novel collagen types, matrikines, and other emerging concepts including proteoglycans & GAGs, non-collagenous proteins, matrix components and inflammation as well as tissue organization and properties.
  4. Epigenetics dealing with epigenetic modifications of gene expression, which represent a conserved regulatory layer of transcriptional control of ECMs that orchestrates important cellular processes, including proliferation, differentiation and inflammation, integrating metabolic signaling. Recent studies report that histone modifications influence cell proliferation and migration via a very sophisticated machinery involving several ECM-driven transcription factors and chromatin structure.
  5. Novel insights in molecular modeling of ECM components. Up to now, when solved structures are deposited in an open database, the Protein Data Bank (PDB), it is then possible to visualize the refined structures using graphical programs and to study their structures/functions relationships. However, the dynamical points of view and the different interactions between molecules and macromolecules remain very difficult to obtain and to study. The molecular modeling technologies are used to promote the knowledge of these behaviors and to take into account the structures/functions/dynamics relationships in order to understand the interactions during time, and the plasticity of the ECMs.
The scientific meeting will provide important new knowledge on:

  1. Understanding the importance of the main matrix macromolecules, their structure-function relationship, as well as their therapeutically challenges, mainly from the general lectures (tutorials) to be held.
  2. The tissue organization and the matrix assembly mediated by matrix macromolecules in health and disease.
  3. New insights on how matrix macromolecules contribute to matrix-mediated cell signaling and regulation of cell behavior as well as how these molecules affect disease development and progress.
  4. Participants will further become familiar with methodological challenges used for expression and determination of various macromolecules with biopharmaceutical importance as well as novel aspects of cell imaging. Moreover, to gain the new knowledge on the molecular modeling studies, a 2-hour interactive lecture will be organized. This will be delivered in four parts and, in collaboration with the supercomputer ROMEO of the University of Reims-France, a molecular dynamic simulation will be performed as the participants will understand the steps to finally visualize in 3D-dimensions both well-known and unknown domains of matrix macromolecules.

An important goal of this ALC is to bring together scientists from biochemistry, life sciences, molecular cell biology and bioinformatics on an important and fast growing scientific field. The benefits of the course will provide participants with the advances of the field, a new understanding of the matrix-mediated cell regulation, new technology for unraveling molecular structures and functions, as well as how this can be used to study alterations in tissue in disease. The participants will gain information that can be applied in their academic environment and research institutes. For such a purpose apart from invited lectures and tutorials, selected talks and flash presentations from young fellows, poster sessions, panel discussions and speaker corners (meet the experts) will be organized.

FEBS has twin commitments to high-quality publications and the promotion of molecular biosciences. As a charitable academic organization,
FEBS uses income from the journals to fund its diverse activities, including support for FEBS Advanced Courses.