Support is requested for a Keystone Symposia meeting entitled Autophagy: Fundamentals to Disease, organized by Christina H. Eng, Daniel J. Klionsky, Guido Kroemer and Li Yu. The meeting will be held in Austin, Texas from May 23-28, 2014. Autophagy is a fundamental cellular process that orchestrates the degradation of proteins, lipids and organelles during both basal and cellular or environmental stress conditions. Once thought to occur only during times of nutrient limitation, autophagy clearly plays major roles in both developmental and pathological situations. As the importance of autophagy in a variety of diseases is emerging, an in-depth knowledge of primary and alternative autophagic pathways is required to fully understand and effectively modulate it. The forefront of autophagy research will be highlighted at this meeting, from basic mechanistic insights and signaling to the role autophagy plays in multiple disease areas and prospects for therapeutic targeting. Key areas of discussion will include the source of the autophagosomal membrane, new mechanistic insights into both macroautophagy and mitophagy, and the critical roles of autophagy in normal and disease situations such as cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, Crohn's disease, lysosomal storage diseases, cardiomyopathy and aging. Examining the role of autophagy in disease will enable us to understand in contexts in which modulation of autophagy may be beneficial, and identifying the core processes that control autophagy will enable us to identify tools to modulate the pathway. This meeting will bring together a variety of investigators exploring different facets of autophagy, and their interactions will expand our knowledge of fundamental autophagic mechanisms in different contexts and their critical functions in physiological and pathological settings.
Autophagy - a normal process in which a cell recycles proteins and other substances in its cytoplasm - plays critical roles in chronic diseases such as cancer and neurodegeneration. The Keystone Symposia meeting on Autophagy: Fundamentals to Disease will bring together a variety of investigators exploring different facets of autophagy, and their interactions will expand our knowledge of fundamental autophagic mechanisms in different contexts and their critical functions in physiological and pathological settings.