Activation of the fibrinolytic system ultimately results in the proteolytic conversion of the plasma zymogen, plasminogen (Pg), to the serine protease plasmin (Pm) (1). The major inhibitor of Pg activation, Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), regulates this process at the level of the primary physiological activators, urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) and tissue-type plasminogen activator (tPA), resulting in formation of stable serpin/protease complexes. The field of plasminogen activation has changed dramatically over the past few years due to rapid advances in the field. Over the decades, contributions from laboratory discoveries have been uniquely important for the development of new therapies in the field of hemostasis, including recombinant tissue plasminogen activator, thrombolytics, and anti-thrombolytics. Additionally, during this time, plasminogen, plasmin, and its activators and inhibitors, have been shown to be involved in a number of physiologies and pathophysiologies, e.g., hemostasis, inflammation, infection, neuropathies,-many discovered through the development of gene knock-out technologies and in vivo models. The purpose for establishing the Workshop on Molecular and Cellular Biology of Plasminogen Activation, over 27 years ago, was to encourage collaborations between different countries working in the area of plasminogen biochemistry and biology. It is a Workshop that has a tradition of presentations by junior, as well as senior investigators, and of encouraging the attendance and participation of women, minorities, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers. This workshop is unique in that the program is highly abstract-driven. This allows for the emphasis of the meeting to be on new and unpublished research, which will foster productive interchange of ideas between attendees of the meeting.
The Specific Aims of the workshop are: (1) to provide a venue for young and senior investigators to present and discuss, in an informal setting, cutting-edge research results in the biochemistry and physiology of plasminogen activation and extracellular proteolysis. (2) To allow for the dissemination of new technologies related to this field of work. (3) To discuss the latest therapeutic developments for regulating these functions during various pathologies. Continuation of this workshop will help to assure the development of the next generation of scientists who will become the future of this field.
The first meeting of The International Workshop on Molecular and Cellular Biology of Plasminogen Activation occurred in 1985 and was organized by a small International group that included Ed Reich from the United States, Keld Dano from Denmark, and Francesco Blasi from Italy. The purpose for establishing this Workshop was to encourage collaborations between different countries working in the area of plasminogen biochemistry and biology and related proteolytic pathways. This workshop is unique in that the program is almost exclusively abstract-driven. This allows for the emphasis of the meeting to be on new and unpublished research, which will foster productive interchange of ideas between attendees of the meeting.