This application is for partial funding of the 2003 FASEB Summer Conference on """"""""Helicases: Structure, Function and Roles in Human Diseases"""""""" to be held from June 28 to July 2, 2003 at the Vermont Academy in Saxtons River, Vermont. The conference will be held under the auspices of the Federation of American Societies of Experimental Biology (FASEB). There will be nine major scientific sessions; each session will include on an average 25 minute oral presentations. There will be two poster sessions, each will last two days. ? ? Helicases are molecular motor proteins that use the energy of NTP hydrolysis to unidirectionally translocate along nucleic acid and separate the complementary strands of the nucleic acid duplex. Helicases can also destabilize the secondary structure of RNA, remove nucleic acid associated proteins, and thread nucleic acids through various pores. By performing these functions, helicases serve as integral parts of the cellular machinery responsible for DNA replication, repair, recombination transcription, ribosome biogenesis, translation, RNA splicing, RNA editing, RNA transport, RNA degradation, bacterial conjugation, and viral packaging/unpackaging. Recently it has been found that several inherited human diseases (e.g. Bloom syndrome, Werner syndrome, Cockayne syndrome and Xeroderma pigmentosum) are caused by defects in genes encoding specific helicases. Helicase defects are also associated with genomic instability and many result in an increased incidence of cancer. Despite the importance of this group of proteins, there is much that we do not understand about helicase structure and function and we know even less about the biological role of helicases in complex processes like oncogenesis and aging. ? ? The goal of this meeting is to bring together structural biologists, enzymologists, biochemists, geneticists, and those with a more clinical view to share ideas and new information on helicases. This field is progressing at an extremely rapid pace with new information on mechanism, structure and the role of helicases in human diseases emerging on a weekly basis (there are close to 500 research papers related to helicases published in 2001). This is the second FASEB meeting on this subject and only the fourth meeting dedicated to helicases since discovery of the first helicase about 25 years ago. ? ?