Working together to
promote the advance
of all aspects of
The Biology of Calpains in Health and Disease
This SRC brings together calpain researchers dedicated to elucidating the molecular, cellular and physiological functions of these proteases. Dysregulated calpain activity plays important roles in many diseases, including diabetes, muscular dystrophy, cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases, neurodegeneration and cancer. Calpains are a family of intracellular thiol-proteases with diverse biological functions associated with their ability to cleave a wide variety of proteins which regulate cellular processes including mitogenesis, migration, invasion, differentiation, membrane repair and programmed cell death. This has stimulated research aimed at elucidating the structures, functions and regulation of the 15 known mammalian calpain isoforms, as well as conserved isoforms from drosophila, nematodes and other species. Growing evidence of calpain involvement in cancer, neurogeneration and cardiovascular disease in particular are inspiring efforts to develop novel calpain inhibitors. This conference brings together leading experts and trainees to present and discuss their latest unpublished findings, including identification of novel calpain substrates and elucidation of how calpain cleavage affects their functions; as well as examples of how dysregulated calpain activity contributes to diseases and preclinical model studies investigating how blocking calpain may provide therapeutic benefits. Session topics will include: bioinformatics of calpain substrate identification; measuring calpain activity in vivo and in vitro; calpain in autophagy; calpain in programed cell death; calpains in neural development and degeneration; calpain in cardiovascular disease and aging; calpain in cancer; and calpastatin and other calpain inhibitors. In addition to selected invited speakers, additional talks will be selected from abstracts. Poster sessions, meet the expert sessions and informal gatherings will provide ample opportunities to share ideas and establish new interactions.