Interactions between cells and their surrounding extracellular matrix (ECM) are the basis for multi-cellular life and essential for cell and tissue organization in all metazoan organisms. Structural ECM components such as collagens, fibronectin, and laminins, are secreted by cells and assembled extracellularly into organized sheets (basement membranes) or three-dimensional fibrils and networks (connective tissue matrix). ECM also contains less abundant, but highly regulated, components that play important roles in controlling cell behavior and matrix remodeling. Because of their distinctive localization and functional attributes in the ECM, these proteins have been termed matricellular proteins and include members of the thrombospondin, CCN, tenascin, osteopontin, periostin, fibulin, and SPARC families. The purpose of this conference is to focus on these matriceullular proteins and to examine their structure-function relationships and their impact on signaling networks that play key roles in disease, homeostasis, repair, and development. Through lectures and poster sessions, established scientists and young investigators will address current topics in matricellular protein structure, gene regulation, roles in development in mammalian and non-mammalian model systems, and impact on growth factors. These functions will be examined in the context of their roles in tissue remodeling, inflammation, fibrosis, injury/stress responses, development, neurobiology, metabolic regulation, angiogenesis, and immunity. The program will emphasize basic and translational applications to inflammation and immunity, fibrosis, diabetes and obesity, cardiovascular disease, cancer, neurologic, and musculoskeletal diseases. The program will feature full length talks from invited speakers, short talks selected from abstract submissions which will feature young scientists, and robust poster sessions. Inclusion of women, minorities, and young scientists has been emphasized in developing the program. Invited speakers represent leaders in the basic sciences, clinical investigators who are defining the roles of matricellular proteins in inherited disorders and acquired diseases, and investigators developing novel therapeutics to treat these diseases. The overall objectives of this meeting are to foster new knowledge in the field of matricellular proteins that will lead to development of therapeutics for the treatment of human diseases, facilitate the development of new multidisciplinary collaborations and research directions, and encourage the development of young scientists in this field.

Public Health Relevance

This conference will bring together established and young scientists to experience an interdisciplinary focus on matricellular proteins which have profound local and systemic effects on cell regulation in development, hemostasis, and especially in disease. This conference will deal with the basic biology of the matricellular proteins with respect to their regulation, signaling, roles in development, inflammation, immunity, and growth factor regulation. The roles of matricellular protein control of cell behavior in diseases includin diabetes and obesity, cancer, cardiovascular, neurologic, and musculoskeletal diseases and potential matricellular protein- targeted therapeutics will be addressed.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Conference (R13)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZDK1-GRB-N (M3))
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Martey, Louis K
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Federation of Amer Soc for Exper Biology
United States
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Murphy-Ullrich, Joanne E; Sage, E Helene (2014) Revisiting the matricellular concept. Matrix Biol 37:1-14