Histone deacetylases (HDACs) are vital regulators of fundamental cellular events, including cell cycle progression, stem cell functions, cell fate determination, cell differentiation, and the pathogenesis of many diseases. As such, it is not surprising that protein acetylation is central to human diseases, as diverse as neurodegenerative disorders, cardiac hypertrophy, cancer, HIV infection, and more generally the process of aging. More importantly, small molecule HDAC inhibitors and activators are currently in clinical trials for the treatment of leukemia and lymphoma, solid tumors, neuromuscular disorders, metabolic disorders and other diseases. In addition, the Sirtuins, a subclass of HDACs, were fingered in yeast genetic studies as regulating lifespan, and these enzymes might be targeted by resveratrol, one of the components in red wine that has been linked to increased lifespan in humans. Therefore, a thorough understanding of HDACs is required, not merely for understanding the regulation of chromatin structure, gene regulation and protein function, but also because HDACs are intimately involved in normal and abnormal cellular processes that greatly impact human health. With the identification, isolation, cloning and functional characterization of 18 human HDACs (HDAC1- 11 and SIRT1-7) and many acetyltransferases in the past decade, the coming years will see a continued dramatic expansion in our knowledge of the biological roles of HDACs and protein acetylation. As the only conference dedicated to this field, this biannual meeting plays an essential role in bringing together approximately 44 basic and clinical scientist speakers to exchange information and develop new therapeutic avenues with approximately 120 participants from around the world. A primary objective is to transfer knowledge between basic academic researchers, clinical scientists, and pharmaceutical scientists to create efficiencies in understanding how they control human health and how these activities can be harnessed to fight a diverse slate of diseases. A second objective is to foster the development and interests of younger investigators to help support their career development. To accomplish these objectives, the meeting venue houses meeting space, dining, and rooms so that participants have ample time to move from formal presentations to informal brainstorming and collaborative discussions. In addition, the morning and evening oral presentation sessions include 2-3 talks from junior scientists selected from the submitted abstracts, which is important for career development and to encourage the next generation of HDAC scientists. There will be an emphasis through both the scientific and social programs on creating a global HDAC community. This meeting will be particularly timely because data from on a new generation of HDAC and Bromodomain drugs will be presented. Therefore, support is requested for the 4th biannual conference on the biology and therapeutic targeting of HDACs and Sirtuins, and their role in aging and disease to be held at Il Ciocco, Lucca, Italy, August 18-23, 2013 in conjunction with FASEB.
Histone deacetylases are enzymes that are good drug targets in a range of diseases from cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer, neurological diseases and aging. In fact, some of these enzymes are thought to be the target of the active ingredient in red wine that prevents aging. This conference will bring together experts doing basic research to understand how these enzymes function with clinical experts testing new drugs and with leaders from the pharmaceutical industry developing innovative drugs to create a setting where new information can be transferred between these key groups to speed the development and testing of novel drugs to impact human health worldwide.